French Kiss casts Meg Ryan as Kate, a neurotic woman whose fiancee (Timothy Hutton’s Charlie) leaves her for another woman during a trip to Paris – with this turn of events prompting Kate to make the trip herself in the hopes of winning Charlie back. (Kate’s efforts are both assisted and hindered by Kevin Kline’s roguish Luc, who has his own reasons for wanting to stick close to Ryan’s flighty figure.) Filmmaker Lawrence Kasdan, working from a script by Adam Brooks, has infused French Kiss with an appropriately lighthearted and bubbly feel that’s reflected most keenly in the engaging, charming performances from its stars, with Ryan and Kline’s strong work perpetuating the old-school romcom vibe and ensuring that the movie is at its best when focused on their scenes together (ie Kate and Luc’s banter is, ultimately, quite difficult to resist). And although it runs a somewhat overlong 111 minutes, French Kiss has been suffused with a myriad of appealing elements that effectively keep things interesting throughout (ie the ongoing emphasis on Luc’s less-than-savory exploits, and his unusual relationship with Jean Reno’s concerned cop, certainly provides the proceedings with an undercurrent of engaging caper-like shenanigans). The completely satisfying third act confirms the movie’s place as a palpably above-average romantic comedy, which is hardly surprising at all, really, given the wealth of talent both in front of and behind the camera.
***1/2 out of ****