Cinema Sips is traveling to Paris this week, for a romp around the Montmartre district. French cinema has a long and storied history, beginning with the films of the Lumière Bros., George Méliès’ A Trip to the Moon, and continuing on with those sexy intellectual films of The New Wave. However, in my lifetime, the one film that has made me truly excited about French cinema is the adorable, whimsical Amélie (DVD/Download). Like an Anthropologie catalog mixed with a dash of Audrey Hepburn and a pinch of Wes Anderson on crystal meth, Amélie depicts Parisians as wonderful, cynical, stylish, romantic creatures. Additionally, it highlights fabulous French haircuts that as an average American I will never be able to pull off (despite a misguided attempt in 2002).
Amélie is about a kind-hearted, but lonely young woman played by Audrey Tautou (obviously channeling another famous Audrey) who decides to devote her life to helping the people around her. Playing match-maker, comedienne, seeing-eye waif, and companion to a brittle-boned painter, she flits in and out of the lives of her Montmartre compatriots like a French Tinkerbell. She lives in a world of imagination, eventually realizing that her fear and insecurities have prevented her from finding her own true love and happiness. Amélie is romantic, funny, sentimental, and crowd-pleasing (so… not your typical French film). But it also celebrates the minutia of everyday life, and the interconnectedness of human existence.
In celebration of all things French, and my favorite Amélie character, I’ll be mixing a Kir. A simple cocktail, Amélie serves it with a smile to the tragic Hipolito, who has embraced his destiny as a failed writer. If the future that awaits me as an unpublished author involves a cute waitress bringing me cocktails in a charming Parisian cafe, consider me lucky. While watching Amélie, I recommend drinking a Kir.
1 1/2 oz Dry White Wine
1/4 oz Crème de Cassis
Pour white wine into a glass, then top with Crème de Cassis.
There was a bit of Amélie overload 10 years ago (what girl didn’t have the movie poster on her college dorm room wall?), but now that I’ve spent time away, I can appreciate what I loved about this film in the first place. Yes Amélie finds romance and quite possibly her soulmate, but more importantly she finds friendship and connection with the people who orbit her world. She’s a reminder that even the smallest act can brighten someone’s day, or change the course of destiny forever. Also, she’s a reminder that I should never try short bangs again. Cheers!