Paris is a dream destination! Who has never dreamed of sitting in one of those iconic Parisian cafés with a cup of coffee while enjoying a crispy, flaky butter croissant? If you’re planning a trip to paris, here are 6 must-see movies to binge on before le voyage.
These top movies set in Paris, featuring the iconic scenes and skyline of this iconic city, will help build excitement for your trip while also teaching you more about the French culture, art, language, food – everything Paris is famous for!
1. Paris, Je t’aime (Paris, I love you)
Don’t be surprised that the first movie recommendation is about love💗. Paris, after all, is famous for its romantic setting and is also dubbed the City of Love! Paris, Je t’aime or ‘Paris, I love you’ is a movie that will take viewers on a roller coaster of emotions with its beautiful collection of stories centered on love and its many forms.
Apart from the showcase of different districts of Paris, the movie is also an assemblage of world-class directors and cast. Even with the snag of its short stories that would keep you hanging and wanting more, there’s surely one or two segments from this movie that you will relate to and love. It’s like the stories were cut at the right moment for you to find the perfect ending once you’re in the City of Love itself!
2. The Da Vinci Code
Paris’ position as the Art Capital is undeniable. If you are planning to visit the Louvre, this movie will get you pumped with excitement to see the most famous painting in the world – The Mona Lisa! Of course, there’s also the iconic Louvre Pyramid and other famous European arts and structures within the city (with a few facts and trivia) that were brought to this big-screen adaptation of Dan Brown’s book.
The race around Paris as American Symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) and French Cryptographer Sophie Neveu (Andrea Tautou) try to solve a thousand-year-old religious mystery is just as exciting as the historic city where it was filmed at.
3. Midnight in Paris
This movie has the perfect recipe for a movie – it has a dollop of dream and fiction, and a dash of romance and reality.
The story revolves around how Hollywood writer Gil Pender (Owen Wilson) while out on a Paris vacation with his fiancée, Inez (Rachel McAdams) travels through time after the clock strikes midnight and a vintage roadster takes him into the 1920s.
I really liked “meeting” the characters that were brought to life in this movie, great writers and artists like Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Dalí, Picasso, and many others. The different locations that are shown in the movie, both past and present also give viewers a different perspective of the City of Lights. You might be surprised to see that Paris streets and sites 100 years ago do not look at all very different from the Paris that we know today.
This movie is a classic treat! It’s one of those movies that you can’t look away from even for a second because you might (or will!) miss an important scene.
Even now as I attempt to put into words how delightful it is to watch it, I can’t help but silently laugh remembering how the movie started with an introduction on Amelie’s conception. Amelie (Andrea Tautou) grew up as a reserved and quirky young woman who works as a waitress and moonlights as a self-proclaimed masked heroine who is determined to help others find or feel loved.
Everything in the movie is well-thought, well-planned, and a little bizarre. Just make sure that your subtitle-reading game is strong because the whole movie is in French. However, at the end of this movie, you should be able to catch a few French words and phrases that will hopefully help you while you are in Paris such as: “Je ne sais pas” (I don’t know) or “puisque même un artichaut a du cœur” (even artichokes has hearts 🙂).
This is a great animated movie that would resonate with any audience, young or old, rat or not (just kidding! ) But seriously, this movie is about a risk-taker and ambitious rat, Remy 🐀, who has a passion for good food and has a refined nose and palate, who meets a newly-hired garbage-boy-turned-chef, Linguini 👨🍳. Together, they were able to manage to prepare dishes for a well-renowned restaurant of the late Chef Gusteau.
Ratatouille also shows the unseen parts of Paris a.k.a. the kitchen and underground sewage – but in spite of this, and the unconventional partnership of Remy and Linguini, this movie still managed to show the romantic side of the French capital, represented by bread and cheese – among other culinary masterpieces!
6. French Kiss
This movie starts with Kate (Meg Ryan) trying to conquer her fear of flying so she can go to Paris with her fiancé, but fails – so he flies out for the conference all by himself and as expected, meets someone else and ends things with Kate. This is where Kate decided to fly to France, in spite of her anxiety, and sat on the plane beside an annoying French man, Luc (Kevin Kline).
Luc animatedly tried to help Kate overcome her fear, but only because of a hidden motive to smuggle a stolen necklace through Kate’s innocent-tourist image and her backpack, which she both lost on her first day in Paris. In between losing the necklace and trying to win her fiancé back, Kate and Luc warmed up to each other and eventually ended up together.
You might think that this is a typical love story, and it is! Except that the movie shows the beautiful Paris and Cannes locations, and of course, the negative side – which are the crooks, (although this is not unique to Paris, at least you will hear the French version of their conversation 🙂).
While we only listed six movies, we can give many other recommendations – including musicals such as Moulin Rouge and Les Miserables, or action movies, like Inception and The Bourne Identity. There are so many movies that can help put you in a French state of mind, and of course, make you fall in love with Paris even before your trip.
What is the ultimate movie that you recommend for other travelers to see before their Paris rendezvous? Let us know by dropping the title in the comments section below!