There’s always something nice about watching a movie that takes place in a city you’ve already visited. Many movies take place in iconic places like New York, London and of course, Paris! I think Paris is the perfect movie scenario, it has everything you can dream of: romantic streets, amazing architecture and many recognizable spots. I love many movies that take place in Paris and if you’re feeling doubts about visiting that city, here’s a list you can check out to fall in love with it all over again.
Prepare popcorn, get to a comfortable place and watch any of these movies to inspire your next travels! I’ve purposely left out Amélie and Before Sunset because you’ve already watched them, right?
First of all, I love Pixar. Case closed. Second of all, a really important part of traveling for me is food. There’s no better way to understand the culture and customs of a place than by tasting some of their food. And Ratatouille captures it in a really nice way. Even Anthony Bourdain loved it and said about it:
They got the food, the reactions to food, and tiny details to food really right, down to the barely noticeable pink burns on one of the character’s forearms. I really thought it captured a passionate love of food in a way that very few other films have.
They got so many details right for this film. For example, the wine that Anton Ego orders, a Chateau Cheval Blanc 1947, actually exists (it’s a Grand Cru Bordeaux blend from the St. Emilion region)! But not only did the food was awesome in this movie, but also many details of the city: Linguini’s little apartment in Montmartre, the shots of the Eiffel Tower and the Seine by night, and so many scenes where you can see the streets of Paris come alive.
Ratatouille is not only a movie about pursuing your passions and dreams, but it’s also a movie to fall in love with food again!
Toni Colette and Rossy de Palma are Madame and servant in this comedy filmed in Paris. This is a story about a woman that fakes to be a princess and falls in love with a posh British art broker. Funny at times and sad at some others, this film uses Paris’ streets as another protagonist for the story. It also approaches some tough topics in a really light but witty way, like immigration.
Some great scenes happen in iconic places of Paris like the Palais-Royal, where you can see Les Deux Plateaux by Daniel Buren, or the Canal Saint-Martin. There are even appearances of the Vélib’ bikes you can use in Paris and some classic shots of the French countryside.
All in all, it’s a funny movie that has an unexpected ending.
Midnight in Paris
Of course, as you can see in the trailer, there are a lot of shots of the city. You can see the Champs-Elysées, the Arc de Triomphe and also the Rodin Museum. There are scenes in Versailles, Rue Mouffetard, Pont-Neuf, and Saint-Étienne-du-Mont Church (the church where everything starts). And for some really Parisian thing: there’s an appearance of the bouquinistes of Paris!
And what’s also great about this film is that it walks you through the vibe of the bohemian scene of Paris during the Belle Époque. Since I love history, I liked identifying characters like Dalí, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Hemingway.
Paris, je t’aime
From all the movies that take place in Paris, this may be one of the most famous ones! Paris, je t’aime lets you discover Paris’ different neighborhoods and fall in love not only with the lovable (well, some of them) characters but with the city itself. The film is composed of 18 short stories directed by famous people like Wes Craven, Alfonso Cuarón, Gérard Depardieu and the Coen Brothers.
Since the movie is so famous, you can check a guide on the places that appear in the movie. I personally enjoyed the ones that happen in the Marais, the Latin Quarter, and Montmartre. I won’t say more, just watch it and fall in love!
If you love movies (as in the art of making movies) this one is for you. I must admit that there are not many “classical” shots of Paris. You can see the Eiffel Tower, the Gare Montparnasse station, and some streets. But that aside, it is about the magic of movies and how one French man, Georges Méliès, is in part responsible for us enjoying this art.
France has been for a long time a place where art, technology, and culture merge in a really unique way. We sometimes forget that many of the things we love and use nowadays originated there: photography, the Etch-a-Sketch, the pencil sharpener, aspirins, canned food, bikes with pedals, and of course, cinema! Hugo is just a little homage to Georges Méliès, one of the most influential science-fiction filmmakers of all time.
2 days in Paris
A romantic comedy about a French woman and an American man that are a couple. As you can see in the trailer above, the movie takes place all around Paris. Maybe the shots aren’t that impressive, they’re just like any shot in any other movie that takes place in Paris. What’s really interesting about this movie is how it captures the cultural shock that many people could experience in Paris or meeting Parisians.
The movie is also super funny with great performances by Julie Delpy, Adam Goldberg, and Albert Delpy. Oh, and just a warning, it may be a bit weird to see Julie Delpy in love with someone that’s not Ethan Hawke, but I promise… it’s worth it!
Listen, if you had to choose between doing something hard and boring for the rest of your life or go to Paris and have fun… what would you choose? I know. It’s a tough question but we get to know the answer in this movie. Carey Mulligan gives some of her best performances and you’ll question your life choices after watching this film. You’ll fall in love with Paris again just by watching the idyllic shots of the Seine and the Eiffel Tower.
If you’ve listened to the term bon vivant, the characters of this movie are the living example of that. Bon vivant‘s literal translation from French is “good liver” or “one who lives well.” A bon vivant is someone who appreciates the finest things in life, that loves socializing and that enjoys great food and drinks. When this movie ends, you’ll want to be a bon vivant yourself.
Les Rendez-vous de Paris
Quentin Tarantino described what it feels like to watch an Éric Rohmer’s movie: “you have to see one of [his movies], and if you kind of like that one, then you should see his other ones, but you need to see one to see if you like it.” That said, Les Rendez-vous de Paris may not be as easy to watch as some of the movies listed here but trust me, it’s worth it. Three love stories happen in this movie that describes how dates work in Paris.
You can see more “normal” places in Paris, like random streets and parks. There’s also a scene where you can take a look at the Stravinsky Fountain (near Pompidou Centre) and Pont Alexandre III, which is a really popular spot for movies that take place in Paris.
This movie does not exactly take place in Paris but in Versailles. You’ll get immersed in the luxurious and decadent lifestyle of the French monarchy before the French Revolution. I feel this movie isn’t enough appreciated, I mean, Kirsten Dunst, Jason Schwartzman and I Want Candy in the same movie? Come on! Nothing can top that.
Besides the great casting, I completely loved the costume design of this movie and all the effort that was made in sets and props. I also recently read Marie Antoinette’s biography and I was surprised by the accuracy of most of the movie. It obviously has some artistic freedom but, in general, there are also many historical facts throughout it (even the scene where Marie’s dogs are taken away from her, that truly happened!).
So what, are you planning your next trip to Paris right now? Which movie are you going to watch next?