Paris, Je T'aime is a collection of 18 shorts compiled by directors from around the globe. Each short centers around a story that takes place in a different one of Paris' 20 arrondissements (neighborhoods). Some are happy, some are sad, some are poignant, some are funny. Most of them are pretty distinctly Parisian in one way or another.
Produced by Claudie Ossard (Amélie, Delicatessen) and Emmanuel Benbihy, Paris, Je T'aime attracted some seriously mainstream talent. Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, To Die For), the Coen Brothers (Fargo, The Big Lebowski), Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men, Y tu mamá también), Richard LaGravenese (Freedom Writers), Wes Craven (Scream, A Nightmare on Elm Street), and Gérard Depardieu (Green Card, 1492: Conquest of Paradise) are just some of the directors involved. And the vignettes star everyone from Elijah Wood to Natalie Portman to Maggie Gyllenhaal to Willem Dafoe.
Considering just how many cooks there were in the kitchen, Paris, je t'aime came out with a pretty even feeling. Some vignettes stand out more than others (my favorites were the Coen Brothers' "Tuileries," in which Steve Buscemi plays a terrified tourist on the Paris metro and Walter Salles' and Danielle Thomas' "Loin du 16ème", about a young immigrant [Catalina Sandino Moreno] who has to leave her baby in a barebones daycare so she can be a nanny to a rich woman's child across town), but mostly they cohere together pretty well considering the variety of themes and even genres.
That said, though, Paris je t'aime didn't knock my socks off. Because it is a collection of mostly unrelated shorts, it lacks the capacity to build effectively. Instead, the emotional climaxes of individual stories are quickly brushed aside so you can focus on the next one. As a result, while the experience itself was fine, the overall movie itself winds up being somewhat, sadly, forgettable.