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Forget Paris

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4

All-Reviews.com Movie Review: Forget Paris

Starring: Billy Crystal, Debra Winger
Director: Billy Crystal
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 101 Minutes
Release Date: May 1995
Genres: Comedy, Romance


*Also starring: Joe Mantegna, Julie Kavner, Richard Masur, Cathy Moriarty, Cynthia Stevenson, William Hickey, Robert Costanzo



Review by Andrew Hicks
3 stars out of 4

A man takes on a certain amount of stress and responsibility when he decides to direct, produce, co-write and star in a movie. Steve Martin struck out with A SIMPLE TWIST OF FATE. Mel Brooks had several successes and flops. Billy Crystal, though, has managed to work in front of and behind the scenes of several movies. He took the gamble again here and won, with this movie that's a blatant WHEN HARRY MET SALLY clone yet takes on an identity and some hilarous humor of its own.

Crystal goes to Paris to bury his dead dad and is put through two days of hell after the airline loses the body (but at least they didn't send it down the luggage carousel). On the plus side, his situation allows him to meet Debra Winger, an airline employee in charge of recovering missing corpses. It turns out the two were meant to be together, as they're the only two people in the world who can trade rapid-fire sarcasm back and forth without even cracking a smile.

The week they spend together in Paris is sheer bliss (It can't just be "bliss," it has to be "sheer bliss," or maybe "pure bliss," but "bliss" can't stand alone.), and when it comes to an end, Crystal asks her to marry him. She eventually agrees and the two end up married, with Winger giving up her profession to move in with him, but the marriage is seemingly doomed from the start. Crystal is on the road most of the time as an NBA referee, not to mention various trying episodes of the movie, one where Winger gets a pigeon glued to her face (in a hysterically funny yet indescribable scene), another where Winger's senile father moves in with them, and yet another where the two try every known method to have a baby. As if the NAKED GUN 33 1/3 sperm bank scene wasn't bad enough, now we've got Billy Crystal asking a nurse for the BARBARELLA video so he can be stimulated enough to fill a plastic cup.

The whole story is told to Crystal's friend Joe Mantegna's fiance (played by Hope or Gloria--I'm not sure which) in a restaurant. Different stages of the relationship are told to the woman as the other dinner guests arrive (including Cathy Moriarty and Julie "Marge Simpson" Kavner), culminating in the arrival of Crystal himself at the end to complete the story. It's an incredibly clever plot device, I'll give Crystal that. And FORGET PARIS is overall a clever and funny movie. You basketball fans will be glad to know dozens of NBA stars appear as themselves in this movie. I can now die fulfilled, knowing I've seen Billy Crystal and Charles Barkley together onscreen.

Copyright 1996 Andrew Hicks

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