French Kiss (1995)

Genres - Comedy, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Comedy  |   Release Date - May 5, 1995 (USA)  |   Run Time - 111 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom, United States  |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Lisa Kropiewnicki

The fourth film collaboration of director Lawrence Kasdan and actor Kevin Kline, French Kiss is also their least successful, perhaps in large part because Kasdan himself did not write it. The tug-of-war between the film's light and airy tone and the betrayal-induced desperation of the main characters makes for an unsatisfying misfire of a comedy that's neither light nor dark enough. Meg Ryan plays the same deluded yet intelligent, frazzled klutz she patented in When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle. Abandoning too much self-dignity and practical thinking to be believable, Kate (Ryan) inspires French jewelry thief Luc Teyssier (believably played by Kevin Kline) to ask the question we all want to know, "Why are you wasting your time on this ridiculous man?" The answer comes much too slowly as Kate and Luc spend most of the second act bickering as they travel together through Paris and the pastoral French countryside. The outcome is predictable and the conflict spare: the cop trailing Luc is also an old pal, Kate doesn't seem perturbed by the thief who's stolen her passport, and even philandering Charlie (a bored Timothy Hutton) gets off too easy in the end. Pockets of witty dialogue and energetic performances by Ryan and Kline make for light entertainment, but the movie as a whole is comme ci, comme ca.