Picks and Pans Review: French Postcards
It's no coincidence that this comedy about American students in Paris resembles American Graffiti Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz—who wrote that film for George Lucas—produced, scripted and directed this one. It is mostly a series of very predictable vignettes. In typical segments, the head of "The Institute of French Studies" can't keep from telling churlish Yanks, "Back to America, Bozo," and an introverted U.S. boy prefers to see French-dubbed reruns of Star Trek on TV instead of exploring Paris. Meanwhile, an older French woman is bent on seduction. The cast is appealing enough to make up for the obvious plot. The students include Miles (Hair) Chapin, Blanche (Holocaust) Baker and David Marshall Grant. Marie-France Pisier, who survived The Other Side of Midnight, is charming as co-director of the institute. But the discovery of the movie is young Valerie Quennessen, a witty, disarmingly lovely French actress who plays Chapin's amie. (Valérie, who speaks only slightly accented English because her mother grew up in Brooklyn during the Occupation, could have a spectacular career ahead.) This sort of film doesn't make you any wiser; it just makes you feel better. (PG)
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