Kevin Kline and Meg Ryan in French Kiss (1995)

It's a French Miss

Everything was going well for Kate (Meg Ryan) and Charlie (Timothy Hutton); they had their whole lives mapped out ahead of them from marriage to where they will live. The only wrinkle is Kate's fear of flying means that Charlie will have to go France on his own for a medical convention which turns out bad news when he phones Kate up to say he has met someone else and their wedding is off. Plucking up all her courage Kate boards a plane to France where the charming Luc Teyssier (Kevin Kline) distracts her whilst the plane takes off. But the charming Luc is a charming thief who hides stolen goods in her bag to get it through customs. But when her bag is stolen Luc ends up travelling to Cannes with Kate...

If I said the name Meg Ryan I would better a lot of people's response would be the attractive blonde star of romantic comedies whose characters often have a slightly quirky but cute persona. The trouble with that is by 1995, when Meg Ryan starred in "French Kiss", you knew exactly what you were getting from the actress and I reckon even Ryan was becoming a bit bored playing the same sort of character again and again. As such one of the first things to strike you about "French Kiss" is that Meg Ryan seems on auto pilot for a lot of the movie and that glow she had playing this sort of character in earlier movies has faded.

Timothy Hutton in French Kiss (1995)

The knock on effect of it looking like Meg Ryan was on autopilot is that Kevin Kline is often forcing the humour of being a French charmer and conman to try to make it funny. And truth be told it is Kline who delivers the bulk of the comedy in "French Kiss" although I have to say a lot of the jokes lust didn't do it for me. It almost started to feel like a movie which those involved ended up enduring, doing what they needed to make the movie and get it over with.

Look "French Kiss" is not a bad movie; Meg Ryan is attractive, Kevin Kline is funny, Lawrence Kasdan keeps the whole thing ticking over and I am sure many will find the French locations where it was shot incredibly beautiful. But for me it felt like a movie going through the motions and in a way reminded me of the Doris Day movies late on in her acting career where her husband had signed her on to do them when she had no real interest in them.

What this all boils down to is that "French Kiss" has never really done it for me and has always felt like a movie going through the motions, with actors doing what they had done before and just doing it again because for some reason they signed on to do this movie.