So it is no secret that I am a MASSIVE francophile, I love everything about France: the culture, the food, the wine, the language, the style – EVERYTHING! And, living in the German part of Switzerland (if someone wants to give me a job in the French part, email me ASAP!) I often have to find other ways to satisfy my French cravings such as listening to French music, baking a camembert, opening a bottle of Bordeaux or watching a feel good film set in the beautiful country.
Below I have compiled my personal favourite light-hearted, English language (mostly) films set in France that are GUARANTEED to get you researching flights for your next holiday!
Midnight in Paris
Not only does this film have an incredible cast but it is beautifully filmed, showing Paris in a way you will have never seen it before, The charismatic and witty storyline follows Gil (Owen Wilson) on his trip to Paris with his materialistic Fiancée (Rachel Mcadams) and overbearing parents. Disillusioned with his situation he is transformed back to the 1920s every evening where he meets the artists, writers and influencers that dominated Paris in that time – who wouldn’t want to drink with Hemingway or get into a strange car with Scott Fitzgerald? I actually watch this film at least once every two weeks as it is such a ‘feel good’ movie – with the beautiful Léa Seydoux making a small but perfectly created appearance.
A Good Year
This film will have you craving a later summer break in the South of France. It revolves around the character Max (Russell Crowe) (not my favourite actor but he plays the part very well) as a hotshot London stock trader who inherits his Uncles Chateaux in Provence. Commence the comedy surrounding the stuffy city dweller in the beautiful French countryside and the even more beautiful Marion Cotillard who plays the aptly named Fanny Chenal! Enjoy with a glass of red wine, some cheese and a loved one!
This is a film I watched a lot when I was a young girl – when my mum was dreaming of moving to France (update she’s been there for 15 years now!) and would watch this religiously to satisfy her yearning for France! Set in the late 50s it follows the story of Vianne and her daughter as they move to a small village and open a Chocolaterie during lent. Slowly the village comes around to the newcomer and we can all bask in the rural French-ness of it all (and Johnny Depp being ridiculously charming).
Julie & Julia
I only recently watched this film but I was so glad I did, half set in New York and half in Paris it follows the stories of a writer recreating the famous recipes of Julia Childs and the life of Julia Childs creating those recipes Paris during the 50s. I think its Julias lust for France and the cuisine that makes this film so appealing to me, its cute and heartwarming and will have you reaching for your Le Creuset to cook up some Boeuf Bourguignon!
Okay, so this isn’t an English language film but I love it so much I had to put it in the list! The film, also known as “Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain” is an alternative rom-com set in the city of Paris in the mid 90s. It is a wonderful tale of how Amélie learns that each event -small or large- can have a big effect on the lives of those around her, and how she starts to interfere in them! Starring the quintessentially French, Audrey Tatou, it will quickly become one of your favourite films! The cafe that Amélie works in, Cafe des Deux Moulins is a real place! Check it out next time you’re in Paris – their Steak-frites is delicious!
These are my personal favourites, of course there are more but these are the ones that really lift my mood and make me feel good! If you have any recommendations please comment below 🙂
Thank you for reading! Yasmin x
If you want to explore some more French films and don’t mind subtitles check out:
La Haine: A gritty docu-style movie surrounding the riots in Paris starring Vincent Cassel – thought provoking and sad. This film actually inspired the tattoo I have on my ribs – watch it and guess which quote I have!
La Belle Personne: A teen drama full of heartache, sex and confused emotions, starring the amazing Leader Seydoux (yes I love her)
Haute Tension: A horror film set around one night of terror – I do not want to give too much away but it was a game-changer in my younger, horror-loving years (now I am too old for scary films!)
Blue is the Warmest Colour: I didn’t really like this film too much as it really centred around a long sex scene and interviews with the leading actors (Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos) implied that they were forced into acting scenes that made them uncomfortable. HOWEVER, it is a nicely filmed glimpse into the life of a confused teenager and the difficulties that stigmas can have on a young persons life.
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