Under the Eiffel Tower follows Matt Walsh’s Stuart as he tags along with two friends (Michaela Watkins’ Tillie and David Wain’s Frank) and their daughter (Dylan Gelula’s Rosalind) on a trip to Paris after losing his job, with the narrative detailing Stuart’s sudden friendship with an aimless Scot (Reid Scott’s Liam) and their subsequent attempts at winning the heart of a fetching winery owner named Louise (Judith Godrèche). It’s a small-scale setup that’s employed largely to almost-passable-yet-primarily-forgettable effect by cowriter and director Archie Borders, as Under the Eiffel Tower boasts (or suffers from) a very gentle, very low-key atmosphere that generally prevents the viewer from wholeheartedly embracing the thin narrative – with the absence of a palpable spark certainly (and ultimately) playing a key role in cementing the movie’s downfall. It’s clear, too, that Walsh’s inability to convincingly step into the shoes of a romantic leading man exacerbate the picture’s various problems, while the third-act inclusion of eye-rollingly needless melodramatic elements, including the dreaded fake break-up, ensures that the whole thing ends on a seriously underwhelming note. The end result is a pervasively mediocre romance that often seems to be struggling to fill its already-short running time (ie there are so many montages), which is too bad, certainly, given the strong cast and inherently pleasant landscape in which the film transpires.
** out of ****