Emily In Paris 2 Review: There's Something About Lily Collins

Emily In Paris 2 Review: The world is passing through hard times and it definitely could use the kind of unalloyed, unpretentious entertainment that Emily in Paris proffers.

Emily In Paris 2 Review: There's Something About Lily Collins

Emily In Paris Review: A still from the film. (Image courtesy: YouTube )

New Delhi:

Cast: Lily Collins, Ashley Park, Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu, Lucas Bravo, Samuel Arnold, Bruno Gouery, Camille Razat, William Abadie, Charley Fouquet

Director: Darren Star

Rating: 2.5 stars (out of 5)

There is something about the flighty Emily Cooper and the actress who portrays her, Lily Collins. Both are instantly endearing, a fact that was proven beyond doubt when the show landed on Netflix more than a year ago. She can be annoying, goofs up frequently, and wades into trouble way too frequently. Her idiosyncrasies and mishap-prone ways make Emily the person she is – a bundle of contradictions who never ceases to be a fount of positivity. Whether you see that as genuine youthful unflappability or plain old foolhardiness depends on what you make of the misadventures of a 28-year-old woman on a voyage of discovery.

In the inaugural season, the easy-going charm of Emily and Lily had rubbed off on the Darren Star-created show, which, despite being criticized for being superficial and blinkered, was a huge hit. It offered more than mild diversion. Season 2 of Emily in Paris is no different although the protagonist is no longer what she was – an ingenue abroad. She is now a somewhat more seasoned Parisian who has toughened up a wee bit and is, therefore, even more susceptible to crossing the line and plunging into awkward situations.

The world is passing through hard times and it definitely could use the kind of unalloyed, unpretentious entertainment that Emily in Paris proffers. The continuing struggles of a Chicago girl labouring to assert herself in a French marketing firm and caught in two minds over her feelings for a friend's boyfriend and another man who she hooks up with add up to some harmless recreation – and a much-needed escape. Put your worries aside, summon up the generosity to ignore the flab and the fluff and dive into Emily in Paris S2. Chances are you will come out at the other end feeling lighter.

Season 1 had culminated with Emily already in the crosshairs of Camille (Camille Razat), a principal Savoir client and one of her first friends in Paris, for sleeping with her boyfriend, Gabriel (Lucas Bravo). This strand of the story, which extends all the way through the new season, sees the protagonist stumble from one misstep to another in her attempt at damage control. Balancing the task of mending fences with a friend and responding to the tremors of her heart is no cakewalk.

The sensory and the emotional compete for attention in Emily in Paris S2. The show is expectedly a pretext for a veritable fashion parade set in one of the world's most beautiful cities. None of the key characters ever makes an appearance sporting anything less than their finest, the outfits always topped off with well-matched with accessories that stand out.

The emotions inherent in the difficult choice that Emily faces – should she continue her dangerous dalliance with Gabriel or warm up to the ardour of the Englishman Alfie (Lucien Laviscount, an addition to the cast)? – are not always quite as pronounced and easy to relate to. The romantic triangle – there are two of them here – introduces a touch of whimsy, intriguing but not always convincing.

The sights and sounds of Paris are handsomely complemented by the bright visuals and by what Emily, her roommate Mindy (Ashley Park, as good as she was in S1) and the rest of the cast don at work and at play. Feathers are ruffled all the time but nobody seems to lose his/her outward composure except on stray occasions. In fact, Emily in Paris S2 has a scene in which blood is spilled but, not to worry, the stains disappear quickly enough.

The show careens through a series of marketing campaigns and roundtable pow-wows, workplace rivalries friendly banter, a birthday bash that ends messily, a restaurant opening that sparks a bitter tiff, a choppy trip to St. Tropez (where Emily courts trouble by neglecting French law and working on a weekend), a Chopard party on a bateau-mouche, a flamboyant fashion show in Versailles and even a heat wave.

For those who dig the French nouvelle vague and Balzac, there is a bit of both thrown into the mix. Emily's colleague Luc (Bruno Gouery), who declares that Paris is the cinema capital of the world, takes her to “Truffaut's favourite cinema”, Le Champo, to watch Jules et Jim. The significance of the menage a trois in the film isn't lost on Emily and she wonders what Luc is up to.

On her 29th birthday, Luc, described by somebody as that ‘mad scientist guy', gifts her a copy of Balzac's Le Cousine Bette. But that does not end Emily's struggles with the French language. She attempts to write a letter of apology in French to Camille only to tie herself up in knots.

There is more woman power in this season of Emily in Paris than before. The triumvirate of Camille, Mindy, who finds love, a band to busk with and a way out of being a ‘madame pipi' in a drag club, and the aggressive Sylvie (Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu), is joined by Madeline Wheeler (Kate Walsh) of the Gilbert Group, the US company that owns Savoir. She appears in the final two episodes and stirs things up for Sylvie, Emily, Savoir and the show.

Emily has a way of getting into trouble, especially with the snarky Sylvie, and Madeline's arrival only aggravates matters at Savoir by sharpening the France-America divide that the heroine has been seeking to bridge. It does not help that she dangles precariously between a dishy chef from Normandy and a suave banker from London, clueless as to what or who is best for her. But nothing seems to throw her off.

That is true of Emily in Paris Season 2 as a whole. It has its share of inconsistencies, but none of it makes a major dent because the show flows as smoothly as the Seine without promising to ferry itself to any place of particular import.

Season 2 of Emily in Paris is informed with enough fun, fantasy and fashion for us not to notice that it is actually only a featherweight affair that isn't really saying much about either the world of high fashion and luxury brands or the city of Paris as seen through the eyes of an American Midwestern girl. What it shows is prettified and passable pulp that, if nothing else, can be a decent weekend watch.

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