Scene from "Emily in Paris". Photo by STEPHANIE BRANCHU/NETFLIX/STEPHANIE BRANCHU/NETFLIX – © 2020 Netflix, Inc.
In this new Netflix romcom series, a young, American marketing professional can hardly believe her luck when she is transferred from Chicago to a marketing agency in the heart of Paris, France…
Paris, here I come!
Emily (Lilly Collins) is a typical girl from the American midwest and at one point admits that she has not been to any country in Europe before her work relocation took her to Paris.
So naturally, she is super excited to be moving to France.
And from the minute she sets foot in the French capital, Emily shares every new impression with her followers via her Instagram account "Emily in Paris"…
She immediately falls in love with the city and the French way of life. However, her new French colleagues are less impressed when she turns up at the Paris office and can't even speak a word of French…
But over time, Emily finds friends, such as the American/Chinese girl she met through a chance encounter on her lunch break. And of course, she also tries out her luck of romance with French men, most notably her hot French neighbour Gabriel…
To be honest I put off starting to watch this new Netflix series released in October 2020 for several days… Just by the first look at the images and trailer, it seemed so cliché. And it is very cliché. But in the end, somewhat suprisingly, I still enjoyed it a lot.
Emily and her new friend in Paris. Photo by CAROLE BETHUEL/NETFLIX/CAROLE BETHUEL/NETFLIX – © 2020 Netflix, Inc.
I couldn't help but wonder…
… was the standard "catch phrase" of Carrie Bradshaw. Carrie was the main character of one of my all-time favorite series: Sex and the City (1998–2004).
Set in New York City, the TV show was produced by the same creator as Emily in Paris. Thus, there are some similarities, including Emily's outfits.
However, what I couldn't help but wonder when I watched Emily in Paris was…
What the hell is she wearing???
I mean seriously… So either it is just me or it is fashionable these days. The show has been largely praised for Emily's outfits. So I guess it is just standard now to turn up on your first day at a high-end Paris marketing agency with a massive Eiffel Tower print on your shirt and a snake patterned miniskirt…
First day at the new office. Photo by CAROLE BETHUEL/NETFLIX/CAROLE BETHUEL/NETFLIX – © 2020 Netflix, Inc.
So while I am not the biggest fan of Emily's fashion choices (it doesn't get any better throughout the season…), the humour used in the series was something that got me hooked from the very first episode. There is, for example, this conversation between two new work colleagues of Emily: Paul and Sylvie. Both of them are French:
Paul: Smoking is a pleasure, and without pleasure, who are we?
As a German myself I must admit that is kind of true. Haha.
Also, Emily seems to be very fond of floral prints, which is something we have in common. And it kind of seems to reflect her moods… Every time she is in a good mood, she wears something with a massive flower print on it. Whether that be a fluffy winter coat or a summary dress in yellow.
This is so 2019…
Scene from "Emily in Paris". Photo by CAROLE BETHUEL/NETFLIX/CAROLE BETHUEL/NETFLIX – © 2020 Netflix, Inc.
Here is another thing that I found really striking about this series… you can immediately realize that it was filmed in the year 2019!
That being said, it is quite normal that a series or feature film is shot a year in advance before being released in cinemas or on a streaming platform. Normally you wouldn't give a second thought about that. I definitely didn't when I watched something in 2019 that was filmed in 2018. But in the 2020, as you all know, everything changed. So you will notice the difference.
After all, in the year 2019 it was normal to walk from your Paris flat to your workplace in the office you shared with colleagues, from there to lunch with a friend, to an Instagram event with 20 other influencers and finally to dancing the night away in a crowded club. Not so in 2020…
No social distances with 20+ other influencers. It was normal in 2019. Photo by CAROLE BETHUEL/NETFLIX/CAROLE BETHUEL/NETFLIX – © 2020 Netflix, Inc.
With so much that has changed this year, 2019 strangely seems longer away than a merely a year…
It has been suggested that there will be more follow-up seasons of Emily in Paris. I wonder how they will shoot that with the current restrictions in place. However, I guess that Emily could surely pull off some of those statement face masks, too! 😉
Scene from "Emily in Paris". Photo: © Netflix
The Film Locations
Paris, I love you!
Scene from "Emily in Paris". Photo: © Netflix
Nevertheless, I think it was about time for a new series that lets us dream about the (still beautiful and romantic) capital of France. After all, it has now been almost 20 years since French girl Amélie (2001) played by Audrey Tautou introduced us to her secret world between cosy cafés and arty Montmartre.
Finally, Paris je t'aime (2006) showed us 18 different ways of how you can fall in love in the city. Other "cities of love" followed the successful concept of integrating several short films about love in one feature film. Among them are New York I Love You (2008) and Berlin, I Love You (2019).
But back to Emily.
Emily exploring Paris. Photo by CAROLE BETHUEL/NETFLIX/CAROLE BETHUEL/NETFLIX – © 2020 Netflix, Inc.
Something that's great for film fans is that a lot of the filming was done on site in Paris and since the film locations are well-known, we can go out and seek them ourselves…
Her small apartment located on the upper floor (the former servant's quarters as we learn in the first episode) is quite typical for a young expat professional like Emily. The film location for that apartment can be found around the Place de l'Estrapade in the 5th arrondissement.
In one scene, Emily goes to a bakery and tastes her first French pastry (a heavenly "pain au chocolat"), which she immediately snaps and shares with her Insta followers. This bakery is located in the Rue des Fossés Saint Jacques and called "Boulangerie Moderne" in real life.
When Emily's boyfriend in America breaks up with her, she stands in front of the Panthéon, which today is a mausoleum built in the style of the old Roman temples.
Finally, the office of her Parisian marketing firm can be found on the Place de Valois.
Check out detailed information about all film locations seen in the series on Seen-it.com. They have created a great guide for all Emily in Paris locations.
Emily at an influencer event in front of what appears to be the Place Vendôme with the Vendôme Column erected by Napoleon I at the centre of it. Photo: © Netflix
The final verdict
Paris, here we come!
Yes, Emily in Paris is indeed full of clichés and the series remains superficial. But I must admit, there were a lot of funny, and sometimes even "laugh out loud" moments, too.
Emily's enthusiasm and her positive outlook on life are perfectly performed by Lilly Collins, who has shown in the past that she can master both serious roles (To the Bone, 2017) as well as mixed funny/serious ones (Love, Rosie, 2014).
It really comes across that Lilly herself had a lot of fun filming the series in Paris. It has also been reported that Lilly recently got engaged and is apparently planning to return to Paris for her upcoming wedding. So I think it's fair to say that she probably really liked it there…
All in all, this light-hearted comedy series is a great opportunity to escape from the dark days in November 2020 and dream yourself away to your next post-pandemic Paris getaway…
**** 4 out of 5 stars
To explore Paris virtually, check out this virtual tour of the famous Louvre Museum or this virtual tour of the spectacular palace of Versailles
So… what is your opinion about Emily in Paris? Who got inspired to travel to Paris? And who is already planning their next trip to the "city of love"? Let me know in the comments below!
Film PR poster for "Emily in Paris" © Netflix
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