Film / French Kiss

"Why weren't you the one, Charlie? The one who turned on the big shiny Kate-light that shines so bright?"

A 1995 romantic comedy film directed by Lawrence Kasdan, starring Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline.

Kate (Ryan) and Charlie (Timothy Hutton) have a perfect life planned out before them: buying a house, marriage, kids, the whole works. Kate's fear of flying keeps her in Canada while Charlie goes to Paris for a medical convention. While there Charlie is smitten by the lovely Juliette (Suzan Anbeh). He calls off the wedding with Kate and she nervously boards a plane to get him back. She ends up sitting next to the petty French thief Luc Teyssier (Kline). He hides a stolen necklace and smuggled grape vine in her bag to get it through customs. Her bag is stolen, the necklace apparently lost, and Kate and Luc head to Cannes — Luc to find the necklace and Kate to get Charlie back. Along the way, Kate and Luc begin having feelings for each other — which change the course of their lives.

Contains examples of:

  • Beautiful All Along: "Now who is the goddess?"
  • Bookends: The film begins and (basically) ends with Kate sitting in an airplane seat visualizing a pastoral scene to calm her fear of flying.
  • Brutal Honesty: Luc isn't terribly impressed with Kate insisting she and Charlie were inseparable.
    Kate: We had plans, OK? We had plans for a home and a family. I would remind him of that.
  • Call Back:
    Luc: When people say they are happy, it makes my ass twitch.
    Kate: (growling like an elderly Luc) My ass is twitching. You people make my ass twitch.
  • Canada, Eh?: Kate is trying to become a Canadian citizen to move in with Charlie. The Canadian Embassy rep is a stereotypical Canadian.
  • Cool Old Guy: Jean-Paul, played by Jean Reno.
  • Culture Clash: North America versus France.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: Averted until halfway through the movie: Kate repeatedly fails to get a view of the tower while in Paris, missing it by mere seconds at one point, until she finally glimpses it from the train as she leaves the city.
  • Hidden Depths: Juliette. Her scene with Luc reveals that she has emotions and fears. Her argument with Charlie before their makeup kiss hint that she and Charlie really are meant for each other.
  • I Owe You My Life: Jean-Paul says he owes Luc a debt greater than money because he saved his life.
  • Lady in Red: The first shot of Juliette, and she is a goddess in it.
  • The Loins Sleep Tonight: Luc's embarrassing secret.
  • Love Epiphany: Luc has one when he realizes he says Kate's name while having sex with Juliette. Jean-Paul realizes that Kate is in love with Luc when she gives her entire life's savings to save Luc from going to jail (and to allow him to start his winery), with no intent on telling Luc what she did for him.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: Luc believes this.
    (Charlie and Juliette make up and kiss)
    Jean-Paul: Ah, l'amour. C'est merveilleux. (Ah, love. It's wonderful.)
    Luc: (dismissive) C'est ne pas l'amour. (That's not love.)
  • Shout-Out: Inevitable that at one point Kate will say, "Sorry, Charlie."
  • This Is Gonna Suck: "Lactose intolerance!"
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Jean-Paul and Luc.
  • Will They or Won't They?
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Jean-Paul repeatedly states his belief that Luc is much better than a petty thief.