In one scene in the new Netflix show, Emily in Paris, our title protagonist Emily’s coworker Luc tells her his opinion about the escapist American movies that don’t prefer showing life and tries to sell cheesy romantic ideas. Even though Emily in Paris isn’t a tough one to sit through by any means, this observation by Luc is somewhat a sensible criticism about this show too. By the time we feel the series is trying to take off to a different emotional space, the show reaches its final episode making it feel like a show one would have easily guessed just by looking at the title.
Emily Cooper, our central protagonist who is originally from Chicago gets a job assignment in Paris as a social media consultant for a French marketing firm. Emily who doesn’t know the language ends up being considered as a hick among her French colleagues. By default, Emily is a workaholic and she was determined to change the perspective the French folks had about her and what we see here is this struggle of Emily to cope with the culture.
I am not at all familiar with the French culture, but this series created by Darren Star somewhere celebrates that stereotypical image of French men who just want to have sex. A workaholic and aspiring young American girl hooking up with French men in her self-made journey to understand self-love is indeed a nice theme. But as I said, there isn’t anything surprisingly refreshing about this perspective. We are sort of getting the package that we expected. The culture clash is the major source of humor here and it does work to an extent. It is towards the end of the series it is trying to create a legit conflict and that also feels familiar. The inability to take a relationship decision, the doubts, unprecedented problems at the workplace, etc are happening in the tale here and luckily they are not stretching it far too much.
The average duration of the episodes is around 25 minutes and we are always seeing the always chirpy Emily almost everywhere. And the good thing about this is that Lily Collins who plays the character of Emily makes her look extremely real despite the character traits being a bit too over-enthusiastic. Her perseverance in the business meetings is supposed to be a bit annoying and she did that part perfectly and her calmer looks in the romantic shades bring in likability. Lucas Bravo who played Gabriel looks terrific and he handled the gentle approach of his character towards Emily in a charming way. Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu (this is why I don’t do video reviews), as the always dissatisfied boss, was fine. I loved the vibe between Emily, Julian and Luc played respectively by Samuel Arnold and Bruno Gouery. Ashley Park was fun to watch as the vivacious Mindy Chen.
Andrew Fleming, Zoe Cassavetes, and Peter Lauer have directed the 10 episodes. The series is supposed to be that light-hearted self-discovery journey of a young single woman in a romantic city like Paris and these makers have made sure that the visual texture is pretty much conveying that mood. The fashion and landscapes are used lavishly to give the series a lush outlook. When it comes to writing, the series doesn’t go towards any unexpected tracks. But the characters in that journey have warm energy which makes all those moments a pleasant experience. The series ends with the possibility of a second season and I hope it will have slightly odder yet pleasant events to make the journey of Emily look exciting.
Emily in Paris is not at all an exhausting experience. I watched the under five-hour-long series without much of a fuss. It’s not a show that you may end up becoming a fan of. But the lovely Emily played by Lily Collins and the escapism Luc criticized can make it that light romantic comedy for a lazy Sunday watch.
The lovely Emily played by Lily Collins and the escapism Luc criticized can make Emily in Paris that light romantic comedy for a lazy Sunday watch.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended