"Why weren't you the one, Charlie? The one who turned on the big shiny Kate-light that shines so bright?"
Kate (Meg 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 (Kevin 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?"
- 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.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Luc's description of the joys of riding a plane are transparently similar to those of sex.
- Especially when he explicitly states it's just like sex.
- 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.
- Shout Out: Inevitable that at one point Kate will say, "Sorry, Charlie."
- 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.