By now, it seems that pretty much everyone with a Netflix subscription has watched Emily In Paris – even if a lot of that was hate-watching, if the online criticism is anything to go by! The sweet series (starring Lily Collins) follows Emily, a typical American in marketing who ends up being sent by her company to work for a boutique firm in Paris. And of course, she immediately starts to become a surprise influencer and meets a shocking number of stunningly attractive Parisian men (who all speak perfect English, and who all want to sleep with her).
Unrealistic as it may be, fans loved Emily In Paris because it’s pure escapism – and offers a glorious, accessible, (sanitized) version of the most romantic city in the world. And while a second season is on the way, fans have a while to wait – so we have some other amazing series and movies to get that Paris fix in the meantime.
This quirky film is utterly adorable, and surprisingly apt for 2020! Amélie stars Audrey Tatou as a young and cripplingly shy waitress in Paris, who spends most of her time alone, living in a rich internal world. She is also incredibly kind, and chooses to secretly make the lives of the people around her better… something that leads her to bettering her own life with a surprising love. It’s not a traditional predictable rom-com, but it’s definitely romantic and inspiring.
9 Moulin Rouge
Another Parisian love story that is far from a rom-com, Moulin Rouge takes viewers back to the Belle Epoque, as a young writer moves to Montmartre to write about love. And he finds love – but it’s no easy path. The naive Christian becomes involved in the backstage antics at the Moulin Rouge as it is turned from a ‘dancehall’ (a polite way to say ‘big fancy brothel’) into a theater. The film sees Baz Lurhman put his signature spin on secret affairs, love triangles, a diabolical Duke, and a series of incredibly lavish musical numbers.
For something Parisian-themed and family-friendly, there is no better choice than Disney’s Ratatouille. Even less realistic than Emily In Paris, Ratatouille is the story of a foodie rat named Remy who ends up teaming up with a young dishwasher named Linguine.
The two work together (with the rat hidden, of course) in a famous, but increasingly passé, fine dining restaurant. With a love story, friendship, incredible food, more than one ‘villain’, and hilarious gags throughout, this is a great film for all ages.
7 La Vie En Rose
Even for people who don’t recognize the name, the music of Édith Piaf is instantly recognizable through songs such as ‘Non, je ne regrette rien’ and of course, ‘La vie en rose’. This 2007 movie is a biographical look at the famous songstress’s life, and won two Oscars (an especially impressive feat for a foreign-language film).
6 Paris When It Sizzles
Audrey Hepburn made multiple films in Paris, and it can be difficult to choose – in fact, it may even be best to have a Hepburn-Paris marathon, and watch them all! However, Paris When It Sizzles is an iconic rom-com, and it’s definitely worth a watch. The film follows the burgeoning love story between two people who have to write a Paris-based script in only a few days, thanks to the overindulgent lifestyle of the scriptwriter.
5 Julie & Julia
Julie & Julia, based on the book of the same name, jumps back and forth between modern-day New York and Paris in the 1950s, telling the stories of Julia Childs learning to cook in Paris (and Julie learning to cook in New York, thanks to Childs’ book).
This is definitely a film for foodies, as both women spend most of the film cooking, eating, and talking about cooking and eating. It’s also a film for Paris-lovers, though, as Julia Childs falls in love with the city, and the food she learns to make there.
4 The Eddy
New this year, The Eddy focuses on the world of Jazz in modern-day Paris, and the issues of running a Jazz club in the city. Unsurprisngly, the soundtrack for the series is absolutely incredible, but it’s not just the music that makes it so wonderful. Unlike Emily In Paris, The Eddy is a far more realistic and nuanced look at life here, and is sure to captivate viewers from the get-go.
3 Les Misérables
What would a Paris film collection be without Les Misérables? Often shortened to Les Mis, this long-running stage musical was turned into a stunning film with a star-studded cast in 2012, and does not disappoint (in fact, it won three Oscars). Of course, this is far from a lighthearted flick (with a title like this, what can you expect), but it is is a stunning (and entirely sung) look at Paris of the Revolution and the years before and after. Romance, heartbreak, violence, redemption… it’s all here.
2 Before Sunset
The middle chapter of a trilogy (starting with Before Sunrise and ending with Before Midnight), Before Sunset finds the central two characters, Jesse and Céline, almost a decade after the events of the first film – a passionate encounter for a single night in Vienna. Once again, the film takes place over a single afternoon, as the two reconnect and discover where their lives have taken them, and how they still feel about each other.
1 Maison Close
For anyone who loved the British period drama Harlots, Maison Close is another period drama set in the world of brothels, although Maison Close takes place in the late 1800s, significantly later than Harlots. It focuses on a group of high-end prostitutes working in a luxury establishment, and the hopes and dreams they have for the future. Unsurprisingly, this is one for mature audiences, but is absolutely worth the watch.
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