I often laugh at Americans for believing that Britain is the country of Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Holiday and Bridget Jones (hell, they must get a shock when they visit), but I have no right to mock, because when I popped over to Paris last year I intended to find the city of Amelie – quirky, beautiful, bohemian and full of those quirky, playful, enchanting Parisians.
But I didn’t find it. I searched. I hunted high and low for the tranquil Montmartre of the film, but, while the area is extremely pretty, it’s by no means peaceful. There are swarms of tourists everywhere casting a shadow over the scenery and endlessly blocking the attractive landmarks as they pose for photos.
Yes, by capturing the imagination of audiences with its enchanting depictions of this Parisian district, this wonderful, life-affirming film has unintentionally and rather unfortunately taken the magic out of Montmartre.
It’s a shame it no longer exists, but what with the credit crunch and the strength of the Euro, Paris isn’t the cheapest place to visit right now anyway. It’s far easier to pour yourself a glass of French wine, dip your spoon into a crème brulee,
and transport yourself there while watching the film. That’s what I’m intending to do tonight anyway.