Where are the goddamned roles for Diane Lane? Since her career launched, with a starring role as a precocious 13-year-old American girl in Paris in 1979's A Little Romance, Lane seems to have confounded casting directors: Is she the button-nosed embodiment of joie de vivre or the anarchist post-punk tempest of Ladies and Gentleman, The Fabulous Stains (1982)?
Confusing the matter further, she does both equally well -- and that angelic face of hers lends itself also to the rom-com. That's why the prospect of her return to a good role in a romantic comedy from Eleanor Coppola — Paris Can Wait — sounded so promising. There are never enough middle-aged actors leading comedies. Unfortunately, the film -- about a married woman who embarks on an impromptu and unexpectedly romantic road trip with a Frenchman -- is a half-baked mess. The entire narrative plays out over a series of meals. Imagine The Trip meets Lost In Translation (Coppola's daughter Sophia's debut), but with stale dialogue and neither much romance nor comedy. In Coppola's rush to zoom to the next bit of trivial dialogue or five-course meal, she also flies right by Lane and her character. If you enjoy sumptuous food photography, however, you're in luck: Those Provençal meals get much screen time.