powered by FreeFind

Apple iTunes


HBO's Picture Paris serves a main course of Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Julia Louis-Dreyfus goes Parisian in new short film. HBO photo

The most gainful post-Seinfeld career is still being enjoyed by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who had a nice run in CBS' The New Adventures of Old Christine and now is rolling along with her Emmy-winning role in HBO's Veep.

The half-hour HBO film Picture Paris (premiering Monday, Dec. 17th at 8 p.m. central) allows Louis-Dreyfus to tap her inner Woody Allen in tandem with husband Brad Hall, who wrote and directed it. Mais oui, there's also a little American Horror Story in play here. You'll have to be patient.

Season 2 of Veep is coming early next year on a yet to be announced date. So Picture Paris is a little place-holder in which a mostly makeup-less Louis-Dreyfus plays an impending empty nester named Ellen Larson.

Son Zack (Matthew Fahey) is heading off to college, freeing Ellen and husband, Randy (D.W. Moffet), to take a long-planned trip to Paris. The possibilities at hand are romanticized in ongoing French narration by Eric Elmosnino, with subtitles provided. An eager Ellen is in 24-hour French mode, including cooking and language lessons. C'est not so manifique.

The film is described as "quirky" in HBO publicity materials. For a good while it also seems almost numbingly predictable, albeit with nice Parisian scenery also in play. But then comes a major twist of an ending. Sacre bleu!. Did. Not. See. That. Coming.

Louis-Dreyfus is winning in the central role, and there's also some nice work by Gregory Fittoussi as a debonair waiter named Marcel. We'll leave it at that, with the proviso that Picture Paris in the end will be an acquired taste.