Like gulping down “Best American Short Stories” in 120 min.

…All the stories were good, but it was a lot to take in in a short period of time. I’m talking about Paris Je T’aime, which I saw last night.

The film is a montage of 18 shorts made by 22 different directors — from Joel and Ethan Coen to Gus Van Sant to Wes Craven. Eighteen! Each short contains completely different actors — quite a list, actually.

Imagine 18 of your favorite short stories, each by a different author, each with its own sensibilities and impact and mood, and then imagine if you could read them at hyperspeed, one after the next, no pause in between to catch your breath or your emotions, and that’s what it feels like to watch Paris Je T’aime.

It’s a great movie for short story writers … but possibly a better movie to rent than to see in the theater. I wanted to pause after each one to think it over, like I might after reading a good short story. At the end of the film my friend asked which one of the segments Willem Dafoe was in, and I couldn’t remember back through all of the stories to even consider answering her.

In any case, it’s hard to watch that film and not want to live in — or at least visit — Paris. Which was the whole point.

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