Forget Paris (1995)
Directed by Billy Crystal

Artistic & Entertainment Value
* * *

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While sitting in a restaurant, Andy (Joe Mantegna), a sports writer, begins to narrate to his fiancée a story about how Mickey (Billy Crystal), a friend of his, met a woman, Ellen (Debra Winger), in Paris and how these two fell in love, got married, and faced various difficulties as a couple. Before Andy can finish the story, however, he and his fiancée are joined by more of the man's friends, each of whom relates to the woman further details of Mickey and Ellen's tale.

Billy Crystal's Forget Paris is a truly mediocre film. It is competently acted, decently made, reasonably well scripted, and utterly forgettable.

The movie's characters are, for the most part, whining yuppies who are likely to grate on the viewer's nerves, and their various trials are so banal that it is unlikely any person who watches the film will be able to remember them after a couple of days. This is not the say that the movie is bad, however. It is just so ordinary, so uninspired, and so trivial that it is extremely hard to believe that it will make much of an impression on the viewer at all. Even its annoying elements, like mosquito bites, are likely to be forgotten once they are no longer present.

Whatever its minor faults, I will, nevertheless, grant that Forget Paris is reasonably entertaining, and watching it could provide an afternoon's diversion. In fact, admirers of Billy Crystal's comic style may find much to enjoy in the film. Mickey is typical of the wise cracking, sarcastic characters the comedian almost always plays and the lines he is given are as good as are any others I have heard from Crystal. Unfortunately, I cannot say that I am particularly fond of the actor or of his comic sensibilities. Perhaps others can praise the film, but I am more likely to forget it.

Review by Keith Allen

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