French star Judith Godrèche co-writes and stars in the romantic dramedy “Under the Eiffel Tower,” about Stuart (Matt Walsh), an American nursing a mid-life crisis during a happily accidental detour in the French countryside. Archie Borders, Godrèche’s co-writer along with David Henry, directs this winsome, wine-soaked film, featuring Walsh in a winning turn as a romantic lead.
One of the filmmakers must be a “Veep” fan, as Walsh costars alongside his political comedy pals Reid Scott and Gary Cole. Scott affects a sketchy Scottish accent as playboy footballer Liam, who scoops up our downtrodden hero after Stuart has impulsively, wrongly proposed to the young daughter (Dylan Gelula) of his close friends (David Wain and Michaela Watkins) under, yes, the Eiffel Tower.
But Stuart’s misguided actions are merely the set up for his journey — an unlikely road trip with Liam and extended stay at the dreamy vineyard of Louise (Godrèche), whom they meet on a train.
“Under the Eiffel Tower” is one of those European fantasy films where disaffected Americans learn to reconnect with their senses, a slower pace of life and pleasure for pleasure’s sake (think Diane Lane in “Paris Can Wait”). But business has a way of intruding on pleasure, and though this conflict offers stakes, it’s quickly swept away for all-too-easy resolution. The film is light and follows a distinct formula, but Walsh is incredibly charming, and shares a potent chemistry with Godrèche.
‘Under the Eiffel Tower’
Running time: 1 hour, 27 minutes
Playing: Starts Friday , Laemmle Monica Film Center; on VOD Feb. 12