A Monster in Paris (2011)

I stumbled upon A Monster in Paris (French: Un monstre à Paris) months ago on IMDb but I wasn't sure if I'd give it a chance because of the lowish rating. A few days ago it came back to my mind, I remembered it was a romance and gave it a try. It was worth it. 

Paris, 1910. Emile (Sébastien Desjours/Jay Harrington), a shy movie projectionist, and Raoul (Gad Elmaleh/Adam Goldberg), his exuberant inventor friend, accidentally transform a tiny flea into a seven-feet tall monster that gets loose. Lucille (Vanessa Paradis), the star of the cabaret, finds him and discovers that he's gentle and friendly and he's a gifted guitar player so she decides to bring him on stage with her. But the wealthy Police Commissioner (François Cluzet/Danny Huston) finds out and hunts down the flea. It's up to Emile, Raoul and Lucille to save him.

The story is very simple and rather predictable. To be honest, there isn't much of a story here, it feels as if the writers made it up as they went along, trying to fill the blank space between the beginning and the end. Still, it's got some originality, it's engaging and interesting and it's got that je-ne-sais-quoi French movies usually have that makes it quite enjoyable and a little charming as well.

The characters could have used a little more work. They lack characterization and development, and they are the typical Parisien characters. They are paper-thin, in other words. In spite of that, they are lovable, you can connect with them and you care about them. And having a very weak villain helps. 

EuropaCorp Distribution
The animation, though it's not the great, jaw-dropping animation we all are used to, is charming and quite lovely. The characters are well made, and the dances are pretty well animated -- they easily are the best parts of the film. However, some of the animations are a bit awkward. 

A Monster in Paris also has some very catchy songs, a good voice work -- I really loved Vanessa Paradis and Matthieu Chedid (he voices the enormous flea) -- and a clichéd but delicate and delightful humour. Ultimately, it's not great but it's fun. 

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