“Lost In Paris” is a whimsical new film from Oscilloscope Pictures, starring married comedians Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon. The couple portrays Dom, a (sort of) lovable French tramp, and Fiona, an awkward but sweet Canadian librarian. The movie blends Buster Keaton-style physical comedy with Wes Anderson’s stylistic surrealness, and it paints Paris as a small, brightly colored movie set of a city.
Fiona, who reminds me of Olive Oil from Pop-Eye, flies to Paris from her tiny, unnamed town in Canada (which is in a constant snowstorm), after her Aunt Martha sends her a letter asking for help in order to avoid being put in a nursing home. Unbeknownst to Fiona, addled Martha wanders off from her apartment immediately after sending the letter, and becomes a tramp herself. Disaster-prone Fiona arrives in Paris and is unable to find her; shortly afterward, she loses all her belongings in a hilarious fall into the Seine, and is hopelessly stranded on her own.
Dom discovers her bag and decides to treat himself to a nice dinner – at the same restaurant where Fiona is using her one pathetic food coupon from the Canadian consulate. What follows is a whole bunch of silliness, with many laugh-out-loud moments, as Dom trails Fiona in her search for Martha. Some of the funniest moments are made so by the delivery; for example, Dom is wearing Fiona’s sweater from her lost bag when she first meets him at the restaurant, and it’s absurdly tight on him, but she says, “Hey, I have the same sweater!” It could’ve been a throwaway line, but it really cracked me up. Fiona’s adventures involve the repeated appearance of a kind Canadian Mountie; a bewildered neighbor of Martha’s who just wants to know what she did with his socks; a mix-up at a funeral where Dom delivers an insane eulogy; a second fall into the river, naturally; and a climb up the Eiffel Tower.
I enjoyed the fact that everyone in Paris is very nice to Fiona, including the guy holding her phone who runs after her for quite a while after she falls into the river. I was not quite convinced that Dom was the right guy for her though, being a bit deranged and a little gross? I would’ve preferred it if she ended up with the Mountie! But I’m curious now about the real-life couple’s other films, which include “L’iceberg” and “The Fairy.” “Lost in Paris” opens in theaters in NYC on June 16th, but should be out on DVD or Video On Demand soon.