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By Jef Dinsmore on Dec 19, 2012 to HBO News

Overview: Ellen is a suburban mom whose youngest child is about to go off to college. Terrified by the question, “What now?,” she envisions a life-changing trip to Paris with her husband – only to discover that the journey isn’t exactly what she expected.Picture_Paris

The above brief description is straight from the Press Release HBOWatch has received for this HBO Special Presentation. It goes on to say that Ellen decides to pour all her emotional energy into planning a romantic trip-of-a-lifetime to Paris with her husband, Randy. She immerses herself in all things Parisian to over compensate for the life changes she is experiencing. Once in Paris, however, Ellen discovers a city that’s a far cry from what she expected. It stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus and was written and directed by her husband Brad Hall.

Expectations: My hope is to enjoy another talented performance from Julia Louis-Dreyfus and that her comedic bit here is quite different from Vice-President Selina Meyer of VEEP. It shouldn’t be that difficult for this award-winner as her characters of Elaine and Old Christine had their own comedic rhythms. What type of character will Ellen be? In the promos she seems harried a bit but, does not come across as neurotic or as a dim bulb. She seems a more realistically drawn character for Julia L-D.

Gut Reaction: First, let me say that it is not too late to catch this Holiday treat HBO has left for us. It airs a few more times throughout the next couple of weeks. I’ll have more of that in a minute. Secondly, let me point out that this is a light quick piece that uses Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s talents well, but, then again, who could showcase her talents any better than her husband. I think I set the idea of this piece well enough above so I won’t elaborate further because I really can’t. This comedic bit is only 29-minutes long. To say anything would expose a good chunk of the fast paced piece. What I can offer is an Extra Scene not used.

If you liked this snippet then enjoy PICTURE PARIS. It still airs on HBO on 12.19 (11:00 p.m.), 12.23 (5:20 p.m.), 12.26 (10:30 a.m.) and 12.29 (10:30 a.m., 5:45a.m.)

It also plays on HBO2 on 12.20 (11:30 a.m., 8:00 p.m.), 12.24 (3:30 p.m.) and 12.30(9:30 a.m.), and 01.04 (5:50 p.m.), 01.08 (2:30 p.m., 11:40 p.m.), 01.13 (3:30 p.m.) and 01.17 (JuliaLD_BradHall4:45 p.m.). It also appears on HBOGO.


In Conclusion: I use some key sources to do my What’s On: article monthly. I was a bit miffed when in preparing that post for December that PICTURE PARIS (Julia and Brad pictured at left) was not listed as a Special Presentation alongside the Mel Brooks special. I wasn’t aware of it until the press release came out a couple weeks later. Now that is no way to treat the actress who just won an Emmy for her HBO show! The piece could have been advertised a little better. Okay, just a little vent and I’m moving on. It proves a nice little piece so seek it out and enjoy. Let us know if you like it.

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6 Comments on "PICTURE PARIS – A Review"

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Where can I watch this movie now? Is it available anywhere for purchase or streaming?

Jef Dinsmore

Hmm, I don’t see this film offered anywhere; sorry about that. Have some fun by giving a shouout to JLD on twitter or something and ask her to get it out there. Evidently, there are people who want to see it. Good luck.

Bonnie S

Had never heard a word about this, but found it while searching through the HBO documentaries and specials On Demand as I do periodically. Wonderfully witty and entertaining, as I would expect from JLD.


Jef, why is it that writers such as yourself do not see a need for checking what you have written for mistakes just because you are writing online? What is wrong with this sentence: “It air a few more times throughout the next couple of weeks.” How about this gem: ” To see anything would expose a good chuck of the fast paced piece.”

Jef Dinsmore

Misstakes [sic] hapen [sic] man. Your snarky post made me chuckle though and the corrections have been made.

Jacob Klein

I agree, Jef! HBO just threw this one out there. Wasn’t much hype or anything around it. Wife and I caught the last half of it and thought it was enjoyable. Not sure what the marketing angle was here but certainly people didn’t get the chance to hear about this one. Lots of people love JLD. If you do I suggest giving this a watch.


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