Yesterday, Netflix announced that the polarising Parisian rom-com Emily in Paris had been renewed for a second season, a piece of news that surprised approximately no one. The series—created by Sex and the City‘s Darren Star, and starring Lily Collins—broke the internet straight down the middle in when it aired last month.
Some were charmed by Collins’ turn as an earnest, Chanel-wearing ingenue, who flirted her away around the French capital, aggravating the co-workers at her cushy marketing job with her American brashness. Others criticised the show’s heavy-handed homage to French culture and the outfits, created by Patricia Field, earned the ire of the internet.
Whichever side of the camp you fell on, Emily’s adventures in Paris are set to continue—and in that spirit, we’re revisiting some of the best movies set in the City of Lights. From Moulin Rouge! to Marie Antoinette, we round up seven films where Paris is front and centre, perfect for tiding you over until the next season of Emily in Paris airs in late 2021. C’est magnifique! Non?
Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s quaint romantic comedy was the sleeper hit of 2011, following the journey of an eccentric Parisienne waitress who is looking for love. Among other things, it made a whole generation fo women want to cut a short fringe, wear silk neglige and move to Monmarte.
Is there a more enduring style icon in the history of cinema than Jean Seberg in Breathless? We say no. This groundbreaking crime drama kickstarted the French New Wave movement, and remains one of the fashion industry’s most-referenced films.
Marie Antoinette (2006)
Sofia Coppola’s unapologetically chic biopic of the glamorous French princess is a cult classic for a reason. Everything, from the lavish costumes to the soundtrack (think The Strokes and New Order) to Kirsten Dunst’s outrageously underrated performance is pure joie de vivre.
Funny Face (1957)
Audrey Hepburn transforms from a bookish wallflower to the pinnacle of Parisienne high fashion in the musical comedy Funny Face—which features some of the most dazzling costumes to ever appear on film (created bespoke by Hubert de Givenchy for his long-time muse). Paris is a beautiful supporting character, but not as beautiful as Audrey Hepburn in her prime.
Moulin Rouge! (2001)
Baz Luhrmann’s devastating epic tracks the love story between Christian and Satine, a down-and-out writer and a sex worker who aspires to be an actress, played by Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman. Set against the hedonistic backdrop of the Bohemian revolution, you’ll come for the sumptuous set design and stay for the heart-wrenching finale.
The Devil Wears Prada (2004)
Okay, we’re cheating a little here. The majority of The Devil Wears Prada is set in a cutthroat magazine office in New York City—but the final scenes do take place in Paris, as our protagonist Andy (played by a wide-eyed, Chanel-toting Anne Hathaway) navigates one moral dilemma after another. I mean, if you haven’t seen it already, we don’t really know what to tell you…
Before Sunset (2004)
The follow-up to the ’90s hit Before Sunrise sees Celine and Jesse (Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke), reunite after nine years apart in Paris—where they have a single day to explore what might have happened if they’d stayed together. Before Sunset achieves the impossible: it’s just as touching, poetic and beautiful as its predecessor.