Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Marie-France Pisier, Jean Rochefort
Director: Willard Huyck
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Debra Winger charms in this funny, romantic and touching comedy about the exploits of a trio of naive American pupils - and their sexual awakenings in the bewitching city of Paris! French Postcards captures the excitement ... more »
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Love the movie, but the DVD is another question
DSA | Phoenix, AZ | 07/01/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, I'm very grateful that "French Postcards" finally has made it to DVD. I fell in love with this movie on HBO back in 1980, when it seemed to be on at least once a day. It's a sweet and funny movie that perfectly captures that in-between stage of life when you're in college.
The cast is terrific: The late Valerie Quennessen is completely enchanting as Toni, a young French woman who falls in love with bookish American student Joel (Miles Chapin). There's also Blanche Baker, hilarious as she travels through Europe checking out the graves of famous authors. The DVD packaging makes a big deal out of Debra Winger being in the cast, but she barely gets any screen time.
The movie is delightful, but as for the DVD? Well, although the box doesn't state it, the music has been changed from the original release. Part of the movie's charm (and a comic comment on the scenes) was the use of French-language versions of American pop songs, including "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" and "Do You Believe in Magic." Those have all been excised, replaced by generic-sounding French songs. There were some well-known English-language recordings in here, too: The Kinks' "(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman" and Nicolette Larson's "Lotta Love" were both prominently featured. Now, the Kinks' song has been replaced with an anoynmous dance tune; the Larson song has been replaced by...silence.
Perhaps the weirdest move of all involves a play the students put on. During the course of the production, Baker leads the students in singing Cole Porter's "You Don't Know Paree." However, the sequence in which Baker performs a solo has been completely removed. Then, instead of hearing the students sing the song, we see the students on stage, mouthing the words to the Porter song but the soundtrack has a chorus of tuneless people chanting: "I love Paris, oh how I love Paris, I love Paris, it's here I want to stay." OK, even if you've never seen the movie before, I think that would be noticeable.
The movie is presented in widescreen and the picture is fine, but the butchering is a major disappointment. I realize this wasn't a hit movie, but it's still wildly annoying. There are no extras and the packaging is rather sloppy: Even Quennessen's name is misspelled on the box cover. So, again -- love the movie, wished the DVD was better. Still, it's better than nothing.
Great memories only one thing though
teacher17 | Dallas, Texas United States | 10/01/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie brought back memories, of when I was a teenager Its just as I remember it..Only one thing, and it did upset me. I dont know if people will notice. There is a scene almost at the end when Joel and Toni are leaving and there parents run into each other, its here where I noticed something was missing?? The music..in the original movie it had Nicolette Larson's Lotta Love.. In this video its been deleted, and that really pained me, because that was part of the reason I bought this movie. I did not notice until later that it mentioned this on the cover of the video, I wonder why this was done.However overall the movie is safe clean AMERICAN fun from the 70's.. Great comedy."
The French 'American Grafitti'
Kon Valian | JUPITER, FLORIDA | 03/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is just plain, old fashioned, FANTASTIC FUN!
It was written/produced by the same team of writers and producers (Huyck & Katz) that penned American Grafitti and you can definitely see a similar thematic flavor (learn the big lessons of life/self realization before adulthood) flowing through this movie!
I find myself wanting to see this movie every six months or so, just to catch up with a few old friends - that's the way the characters affect you in this movie - you want to go home with them and hang out with them and see what they're up to today! I fell in love with Toni (Valerie Quennessen) and Madame Tessier (Marie France Pisier); Joel (Miles Chapin) and Alex (David Marshall Grant) feel like they are my two best buds! Joel is absolutely hilarious when he tries to convince Mssr. Tessier to go 'get a beer' with him so he can prevent his best friend Alex from being discovered in bed with Madame Tessier. When he begs the Headmaster of the French Institute where he is studying to stop his car by jumping on the moving vehicle in desperation as if he's dying and then, after finally getting the drivers attention, he just saunters up to the window and casually asks "so, ... wanna get a beer?" as if they are old buddies - I am absolutely screaming with laughter! He is forced to pretend to be FREAKING OUT on DOPE in order to convince the guy to go to the hospital in the hopes of having him avoid catching his wife in bed with Alex! This endears the Joel character to you because we all love a person that cares enough to risk his very reputation and future ("20 yrs in my own Country and nothing like this ever happened to me - you're right - I am FREAKING OUT") for his friend! This is Ben Stiller-esque style comedy with the subtle nuances of facial ticks and casual glances - I find Miles Chapin to be a very, very funny and charming actor!
I love the scene where he is trying to fit in with some French students on a screwy date and he wins the heart of the adorably cute and sexy Toni because he's so genuine and funny!
You will LOVE this flick - lots of cool surprises, first time sightings of future stars (Debra Winger's first speaking part in a small role as another student at the Institute; Mandy Patinkin as a Persian chauvinist) and great, touching, little scenes (the scene where Alex and Joel say GOOD BYE at the end is very well done and almost makes you want to cry) as well as some real significant life lessons make this a very enjoyable movie experience that you may want to watch five or ten times!"
D. Palaganas | Rockville, MD United States | 08/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this video on a lark, having remembered it from 1980 on HBO (as many other reviewers did). The movie was even better than I remembered because I was only 10 in 1980 and couldn't really appreciate all the situations the characters were going through. Watching the movie now, I found myself relating to all three of the main characters at some point or another in the movie. Joel is sheltered and needs some nudging to get out into the world. Alex is a dreamer and a free spirit. Lora is rigid about what she plans to do and gets bent out of shape when things don't go exactly as planned. It's a great delight watching these three on their adventures through France. One of the last scenes of the movie, where Joel says goodbye to Alex and asks him to keep in touch, is quite touching and reminded me of the various people who I've met in my life who went away for whatever reason. Goodbyes are sometimes sad but you appreciate the time you spent together.
Another reviewer mentioned that the scene in the original version with "Lotta Love" by Nicolette Larson had the song removed for the video version. I don't remember "Lotta Love" in the original version, but I do distinctly remember that "Just One Look" by Linda Ronstadt was played in the scene where Alex stalks Madame Tessier in the clothing store. That song was changed to some other French pop song. However, unlike with the "Lotta Love" change, I feel this change takes away from the original... "Just One Look" is definitely appropriate for the scene, so you lose something in the new version.
Still I loved the movie... another thing that is different for me now is that I find Alex (David Marshall Grant) to be completely adorable! His wide-eyed, eager beaver character is very charming. Ahhh!
If you want to see a cute, light hearted romantic comedy, and want to be taken back to your young adulthood or the time when you first ventured from your hometown to a completely new environment, you will love this movie."