xXx: Return of Xander Cage
The last forty minutes of the movie do come together in a pretty diverting way.
I was once a 19-year-old who tore a page from Arthur Frommer's "Europe on $5 a Day" and consulted it in terror while waiting to be asked, in a Paris restaurant; what I would have to eat. "Canard d'orange," I hoped to reply. The waiter didn't give me the chance. "Duck with orange sauce?" he asked. "How did you know?" I gulped. "The American students all have the same book," he explained.
Even then I was in awe of those other American students who somehow never read Frommer, who spoke French instead of memorizing menus on the sidewalk, who saw Paris on their Junior Year Abroad instead of ransacking it during a fly-by-night charter. I now learn in "French Postcards," however, that the Junior Year Abroaders were as baffled by the French as I was -- and that speaking French only complicated things.
"French Postcards" is a lovely example of the comingofage film. It's about a group of American students who find themselves at the subtly wacky Institute of French Studies in Paris, and who find (as all people of 20 have found in Paris since time immemorial) that Paris is a city where the study of sexuality precludes all but the most pressing other disciplines.
That point is made in one of the movie's most delicious scenes, during which the Institute's saucy chief instructor (Marie-France Pisier) inches herself into a pair of skin-tight jeans while one of her young Yankees (David Marshall Grant) watches thunderstruck. It is also made when another student (Miles Chapin) falls in love with the pert little shop assistant at the bookstore next door.