Starring: Matt Walsh, Judith Godrèche, Reid Scott
Director: Archie Borders
Running Time: 87 mins
Under The Eiffel Tower is an American film about a middle-aged man down on his luck in life who tags along on a friend’s family holiday to France, but is soon thrust out of it after an embarrassing faux pas, and thrust into the opportunity of a lifetime.
No matter which way you look at it, it’s difficult to call Under The Eiffel Tower anything other than a really simplistic romance movie. There’s a meet-cute, a random idyllic setting, the odd embarrassment and mishap, a little bit of character drama and of course a run to the airport. It ticks pretty much all the boxes.
However, as basic and generic as the film is throughout, sometimes that’s all you want, and when delivered with such wide-eyed, innocent and sweet energy, it can still make for a passable, often even genuinely enjoyable watch. Under The Eiffel Tower doesn’t stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the most memorable romance movies of all time, but as far as making the formula work, it does a good enough job throughout.
Now, I don’t mean that the film is even particularly enthralling, nor the most emotionally moving watch. It’s predictable, lightweight and often features fairly inconsequential drama, coupled with generic characters whose arcs are entirely apparent from each of their first appearances on screen.
But despite that, the gorgeous, sun-baked energy of falling in love on a French vineyard still has some of that delightfully cheesy appeal that makes some romance movies so enjoyable. Under The Eiffel Tower doesn’t use it to full effect, but it does more than enough to engross and entertain with its mellow and easy-going atmosphere alongside a simple and enjoyable story.
Matt Walsh is an entertaining lead, and Judith Godrèche is absolutely lovely throughout. The idea that their relationship is the most dynamic ever seen on screen is not something I’d agree to, but in keeping with the film’s lightweight vibes, the central relationship too is fully positive and focused on making you smile.
Again, that doesn’t make for particularly interesting viewing, but if you turn your brain off to just sit back and relax, then Under The Eiffel Tower will absolutely make you smile, far more than the worst of the romantic genre can do.
When it comes to the comedic side of things, the film isn’t particularly outstanding either, but just light and fluffy enough to spark a chuckle here and there. With an entertaining opening sequence that sees Matt Walsh’s devastating faux pas thrust him into this adventure, the film starts well, and alongside the appearance of Reid Scott and his delightfully wobbly Scottish accent, there are silly and funny gags all around to make you giggle from time to time.
The film is far from a laugh-a-minute riot, but it is easy and simple enough to make for a pleasant watch, and in tandem with a simple, predictable story that follows the romance formula to a tee, Under The Eiffel Tower is, rather strangely, an enjoyable film, albeit far from one that will really stick out in your mind, and that’s why I’m giving it a 6.9 overall.