Question of the Week: What’s Your Favorite Movie Set In Paris?

Happy midweek, everyone! Pardon me for being extra chirpy today as it’s only two days away before my hubby & I are off to Europe. As I’ve mentioned here, we’re going to Amsterdam – Bruges – Paris to be exact, but we’re spending the most time in Paris. We’re renting an apartment in the 15th arrondissement area for 6 nights via airbnb.com, something we’ve never done before but that’s part of the adventure as we’ll be staying away from the tourist-y area.

We wanted to visit Bruges because we saw how gorgeous it is in the 2008 movie In Bruges with Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell. That’s perhaps the most famous movie featuring the Belgian city, but Paris has been quite a staple in various films, Hollywood or otherwise. Just look at this super long list in Wikipedia. In fact, this weekend we saw 2 Days In Paris, which was written & directed by Julie Delphy who also starred in it with Adam Goldberg as her American boyfriend.

2DaysInParis

It’s a pretty cute movie, a bit vulgar in parts but also hilarious and has a wonderful scenery of Paris through the lens of a real Parisian, so it doesn’t look too glamorized. Well, it made me think of other movies I’ve enjoyed that’s set in the City of Light, whether in parts or in its entirety.

Midnight In Paris

Moulin Rouge

An Education

Inception

Paris Je T'aime – Père Lachaise Cemetery

Sabrina 1995

Phantom Of the Opera 2004

I know for sure I’d want to visit some of the main landmarks featured in some of my favorite movies. I’ve booked my tour to Palais Garnier where the Phantom of the Opera is set in, which is pretty close to the Père Lachaise Cemetery where Rufus Sewell and Emily Mortimer’s sequence is set in Paris Je T’aime. Of course Midnight in Paris has a bunch of great Parisian locations, and I have this site to use as a guide. But what I look forward to the most is just enjoying the ambiance and simply being in Paris, strolling through the streets and along the Seine river, people watching whilst sitting in a café, etc.


So my question to you today is, what’s YOUR favorite movie set in Paris?

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95 thoughts on “Question of the Week: What’s Your Favorite Movie Set In Paris?

    1. Ha..ha.. well, glad to hear! I might watch Charade when I get back from the trip, wish I had time to see it before Friday, but I doubt it. Thanks, I know I will 🙂

  1. As you well know I have a fascination with Paris. It’s such an incredible city. It’s also a great movie setting and there have been so many great ones.

    The 400 Blows may be the “best” movie set in Paris IMO. I also adore Breathless and Le Samourai. But in terms of capturing the beauty and sheer magic if the city, no film gets it better than Midnight in Paris!

    OH, while you’re in Paris make sure you talk a walk through the Latin Quarter particularly the Bohemian areas. We had lunch at a wonderful café right in the middle of the Bohemian streets. It’s amazing. And don’t miss the gardens!

    1. Hi Keith! How many times have you been to Paris? You sound like an expert 🙂 I barely remember any of my experience when I visited years ago when I was only 13. Oh I forgot le Samourai, Alain Delon in that trench coat, yowza 😉 And yeah, Midnight in Paris sure is magical!

      Great tip Keith, thank you for that. Are you referring to the gardens in Latin Quarter? I know I want to go to the garden featured in Midnight in Paris too, when Michael Sheen was being a smartass, ahah.

      1. Any gardens you visit will be awesome. The Tuileries, Parc Monceau, Place des Vosges. ALL are worth a visit and time sitting and people watching. The big garden in the Latin Quarter is the Luxembourg Gardens. They are AMAZING. Monceau is a hidden treat.

        The scene in Midnight that you are speaking of is at the Palace of Versailles. It’s about a 45 minute train ride out of the city. Sheen also hams it up in the gardens at the Rodin museum. That really pretty too.

        1. Oh right, Luxembourg Gardens is one we’d love to visit. The people watching is one of the best things about Paris, right?

          Yep, a trip to Versailles is a must! I actually remember that from my last trip w/ my family in the late 80s. I still need to see Before Sunset and Before Midnight, but Before Sunrise is set in Paris too wasn’t it?

      2. Oh, and I forgot to mention Before Sunset – my favorite film of the trilogy. Paris just beautifully lingers in the background. LOVE that movie.

  2. This is an easy one for me, Ruth. It’s most definitely Amelie for me. Such a wonderful and delightful little film.

    Bon Voyage, Ruth. It sounds like a very exciting trip. I’ve seen Amsterdam before but would still like to see Paris and Bruges one day. 🙂

    1. Oh my! How could I forget Amelie!! It’s such an enchanting film w/ great Paris scenery. I hope one day you get to visit both cities, Mark, hey at least it’s much closer to you than it is for me 🙂

        1. “It was Jeunet’s valentine to the city…” It was indeed Dave! That’s one of the most beautiful *love letter* to a city ever filmed.

          1. perhaps! I was thinking of 3 Autumns, 2 Winters, or 2 Autumns, 3 Winters whatever it’s called, which is a French film too (but a really really awful one), so I was getting mixed up with numbers. 3 Days in Paris I’ve only seen once, at the BFI last June, but I really enjoyed it 🙂

  3. Paris is a great city. I recommend a walk around the streets of Montmartre, its very romantic …

    As for the greatest film set in Paris, I think I’ll go for Le Samouraï … a super cool – noir.

    Have a great trip.

    1. Hello Dirk! Montmartre is on 18th arrondissement right? Hmmm that’s quite far from where we’re staying, but maybe if we have time to spare. Le Samouraï is a great noir, I remember loving the scenery in that one… and Alain Delon’s beauty of course 😉

  4. jackdeth72

    Hi, Ruth:

    Enjoy your trip!

    Romance? Charade with Carey Grant, Audrey Hepburn and Paris never looking lovelier! Followed closely by Lawrence Kasdan’s French Kiss with Meg Ryan, Kevin Kline, Jean Reno and Tim Hutton.

    Drama? Ronin . Followed by The Day of The Jackal ..

    1. Thanks Kevin! Another vote for Charade, I definitely should get on that after my trip. Oh right, French Kiss was quite a fun rom-com. I loved Ronin too, that car chase scene was a lot of fun to watch.

      1. jackdeth72

        I was surprised by the amount of love that went towards Charade when I critiqued Walter Matthau. While French Kiss is a smart and upbeat romantic comedy set in lush surroundings.

        Ronin will always hold third place in chase scenes after Bullitt and The French Connection . While La Femme Nakita and De Palma’s Femme Fatale show the glitzy, polished side of Paris. As well as the often sleazy, slimy side at night.

  5. Have to go with Les Miserables! Paris was wonderful. I’d go back in a second. Versailles outside of Paris was jaw-dropping, too, I’m jealous you’ll be visiting Bruges; like you, fell in love with it on the movie screen in In Bruges. Have a fantastic time.

    1. Hi Cindy! I’m looking forward to the Versailles trip, that’s actually very easy to get to by metro as I’m staying on the eastern side of Paris. Seems that a lot of people who saw In Bruges wanted to go there, they should give the filmmaker a key to the city, ahah.

  6. PrairieGirl

    Hey Flixy, love your list, and I have to add Hugo to it. Tell Ivan I’m expecting LOTS of his amazing photos of the cemetery and opera house (grin). Have a safe and happy trip.

    1. Oh right, HUGO is great, esp that train station!

      I don’t think I need to worry about Ivan taking pictures, he’s been obsessing about the tripod the last few days. I guarantee you he’ll take hundreds of photos!

  7. Popcorn Nights

    Wow, have a good time Ruth! There’s a lot to choose from but I’ll pick a few recent ones – Amelie, La Haine and The Beat That My Heart Skipped are all favourites of mine from the past 20 years or so. But I hope you see the Paris of Amelie rather than the Paris of La Haine!

    Incidentally I used Airbnb for the first time about six months ago and it was a great experience; made a nice change from staying in hotels. I hope yours goes well.

    1. Thank you! Can’t imagine NOT having a great time in Paris. Oh The Beat That My Heart Skipped is the one w/ Rumain Duris right? I’ve been wanting to see that one in a while. Ha..ha.. well I haven’t seen La Haine but I’ll take your word for it. Glad you’ve used airbnb too, the lady renting our flat is very sweet, can’t wait to meet her!

      1. Popcorn Nights

        That’s the one! It’s very good, an excellent drama (as is La Haine) but probably worth seeing after you’ve been!

  8. I hope you have a wonderful time Ruth! I love Paris, it’s so beautiful. My favourite Parisian movie is definitely The Dreamers. It’s so atmospheric, set mostly inside a Parisian apartment in the 1960s against the backdrop of the riots. The three characters love new wave cinema and there’s this incredible scene where they run through the Louvre.

    1. Hi Natalie! It’s such an enchanting city, it’s been almost 20 yrs since I visited that place. Is The Dreamers the one by Bertollucci starring Eva Green?

        1. Well so far it looks like it’s gonna rain all week 😦 I hope that changes though, but then again, like in Midnight in Paris finale, even during rainy weather Paris is still enchanting.

  9. Haha, my favorite film – Three Colors: Blue – is set in Paris. I love a bunch of films set there though, like Three Colors: Red, The Lovers on the Bridge, Before Sunset, Midnight in Paris and Moulin Rouge!. It’s a brilliant place to shoot a movie, no doubt. 🙂

    1. Once again you remind me that I need to see Three Colors trilogy! Oh I have to look up The Lovers on the Bridge, not sure what that’s about but the title sounds lovely.

  10. Ted S.

    Have fun on your trip!

    As for my favorite movie set in Paris? You know Paris has appeared in so many movies so I can’t remember which one is my favorite. Guess I’ll go with The Bourne Identity since it’s the only one I can think of at the moment. It’s one of those cities where it always look good for spy movies, just like London, Beijing and New York.

    1. Thanks Ted! Oh right, Bourne Identity is set in Paris, that city is great for both romance and action! Yep, great for spy movies for those narrow streets!

  11. Aaaaah, I’m SO jealous! Have lots of fun, Ruth! (Of course you will). I am IN LOVE with Paris; so many of favorite movies are set there: Moulin Rouge, Midnight in Paris, Before Sunset, Inception, Paris Je T’Aime, Julie & Julia, and of course, Ratatouille.

    1. So I take it you’ve been to Paris several times Fernando? It’s really a lovely city. Love your picks, and oh Ratatouille is an underrated Pixar flick, I love that one!

  12. Oh, BTW, check out this video Ruth. It was made on the exact street we stayed on during our visit. It was so lively and amazing. We can actually see our hotel a few times and we visited several of the shops.

    1. Fantastic, Keith!! Thanks for this! 7th arrondissement is right above the 15th, but of course your area is much more strategic location-wise.

      1. We loved the street in the video Rue Cler because it was such a great taste of the real Paris. Open air markets, cheese shops, patisseries, cafes, school kids passing through in the mornings. Pedestrian street only.

        1. I just went to Google map to see Rue Cler, wow that’s a lovely street, it’s about a half hour from the flat I’m staying at Rue Olier in 15th arrondissement. So yeah I’ll definitely make a stop around this area!

  13. It has to be Before Sunset for me. Think that might be my favourite one in the trilogy too.

    Though.. to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of Paris! Okay, shoot me, I’ve not been in years, but it’s not got much appeal to me right now!

    1. Not a big fan of Paris? How many times have you visited that city? I’ve only been there once but right now I think my fave city is London, I guess I’ve always had a penchant for the Brits 😉

      1. Haha. Only been there once. Maybe twice. But I was pretty young. I dunno, there are so many other French cities I would rather go to than Paris – Lyon being one of the top contenders!

  14. I think I’d have to go with Amelie! There are quite a few though, when you think about it, Paris has hosted many films. I hope you have a wonderful time. How long will you be in The Dam for? I’ve been seven times. ;D

    1. Amelie is lovely! I can’t believe I didn’t put a picture of that movie on here. Yeah Paris is VERY popular setting for movies. I’ll be in Amsterdam for only 2 nights, but we’ll make the most of it 😉

    1. Wow, La Haine gets another mentioned. Now I REALLY have to see what it’s about. But yeah, Amelie’s Paris would be lovely!

  15. Ruth I am so jealous!!!!!!!!! Hope you have fun and see all the sights. Please do a post after your trip and tell us all about and take lots of pics! I love Midnight in Paris, such a cool Parisian feel to the entire flick, Moulin Rouge of course and I know it is corny but I love the Meg Ryan movie, French Kiss.

    1. Hi Melissa! Wish I could take you along, you sound like a fun travel companion 🙂 Yeah I’ll do a post after the trip w/ a bunch of pics. I love all three movies you mentioned, French Kiss is fun despite the corny-ness, ahah.

  16. I can’t believe you didn’t include Before Sunset. That’s my favorite film set in Paris as other films I love set in Paris are Moulin Rouge!, Midnight in Paris, Breathless, The 400 Blows, Paris Je T’aime, and The Lovers on the Bridge.

    1. There are lots I didn’t include here, like Amelie, but it’s really just a sampling of my faves. I’m curious about The Lovers on the Bridge now as someone’s mentioned it too.

      1. The Lovers on the Bridge was one of my Blind Spots from last year as it was a very ambitious film made when a bridge was being rebuilt as it’s from the guy who did Holy Motors.

  17. Enjoy your trip! Bruges is beautiful! Its structure is similar with Amsterdam in terms of having a canal, but it’s a great place. Paris is wonderful as well.

    The first film that I thought of when I read the question was Amelie. I really adored that movie. Before Sunset’s also a favorite of mine, along with Moulin Rouge.

    1. Yeah Bruges does have the canals and narrow houses like in Amsterdam, but I love the small town charm. Can’t wait to explore! Love your three picks, so many great movies set in Paris!

  18. There are so many from classic comedies like Le Million and dramas like Children of Paradise, right up to the present with Hugo and Midnight in Paris. I’ll have to simply go with the first film that popped into my head, which means another vote for Amelie.

    1. Hi Chip, Amelie is quite a popular answer but naturally it’s one of the best movies set in Paris! I’m sure there are tons of great classics set in Paris too that I still need to see.

    1. Hope one day you can visit as well Andina. It’s been a while since I went to Europe. Oh Amelie is not a cliched answer at all, it is a lovely movie!

  19. Brittani

    I don’t know if I can pick a favorite – but Paris is the reason I loved Midnight in Paris so much. I hate every single movie of Woody Allen’s I’ve seen except that one. It’s just beautiful, and the city deserves all the credit.

    1. Hi Brittani! I’m not a fan of Woody Allen’s stuff either, but I LOVED Midnight in Paris! The city itself is practically a character in the movie.

  20. Oh I love 2 Days in Paris! It’s such a funny movie, her parents were hysterical. Another one where Paris is beautifully shown is Before Sunset – it’s not glamorous but you can feel its light charm.

    1. It is hysterical indeed, all the bickering between Julie & Adam look so natural too it’s as if they weren’t acting! The interaction between Jack and Marion’s parents are so amusing, it’s a great cultural comedy.

      I still need to see Before Sunset, maybe after the trip. I really like Before Sunrise so I bet I’d love that one too.

      1. Oh you’re gonna love Before Sunset – it’s such intensely beautiful movie. I still didn’t see Before Midnight – Before Sunset’s has one of the most perfect endings I’ve ever seen and I just don’t want to ruin the illusion of fairytale like this ^^

        1. I’m sure I will! I hear ya about not wanting to ruin the illusion if the film is already perfect in your mind. It seems that Before Midnight gets mixed reviews. I was just thinking about the ending of Midnight in Paris and how it’d be lovely to see a follow up of Gil & Gabriella together, but then again I thought ‘Nah, leave it be. It’s a beautiful ending so might as well leave it that way.’

  21. Great question Ruth! The first movie that popped into my head is Midnight In Paris; it has a little of everything, modern France, 1920s and Moulin Rouge. I’m sure others would be second choices if I could think of them. Have a nice trip! 🙂

    1. I definitely second your choice! I’m not a huge fan of Woody Allen’s stuff but I LOVED Midnight in Paris. Like you said, it shows the beauty of that city from all the different eras. It’s so beautifully shot, esp that finale in the rain.

      1. Victor De Leon

        Good film. Quite overlooked. Has a very nice modern noir vibe. If you ever watch it, let me know your thoughts. Enjoy your weekend 🙂

    1. Before Sunset is quite a popular answer, I still need to see that one. But YES on Amelie! I’ll definitely put up a blog post of my travel summary when I get back 😉

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