Saturday, November 27, 2010

Passport to Paris

This is the first in what will be a series of mini-recaps of the Olsen twins' made for TV movies, in chronological order. We'll see how many my brain can actually handle.


Passport to Paris

Brief plot recap: Melanie and Allie are extremely annoying girls who are about to turn 13.

They get asked to the spring dance by the “cutest boys in school,” who I think would be more interested in dancing with each other.


Unfortunately, their parents are afraid that their children are too shallow and narrow-minded, and ship them off to Paris to stay with their grandfather and expand their horizons. The girls are majorly miffed when they tell the boys that they can’t go to the dance after all and they immediately ask out a couple of cheerleaders. Overcompensating much?

Anyhow, their grandfather is the ambassador to France (of course) and has no time for trifling things like supervising his granddaughters. He assigns his boring assistant Jeremy to escort them around the city for the week.

After being shown their fancy schmancy bedroom, the girls immediately put a Wyclef Jean poster on the wall and begin jumping on the bed to a hip hop song with the refrain “That’s the way it is when you’re living in the hood.” They are so bad.

On their first day out in Paris, they almost get run over by a couple of flower delivery boys on mopeds. Naturally, they are instantly smitten.


Then they drop acid and visit the Louvre.




Then, they walk all the way from the Louvre to a run-of-the-mill café in Montmarte for lunch.


For lunch, the girls have a sip of Diet Coke each. Foreshadowing of Mary-Kate’s IRL anorexia?

At the café, they meet Brigit, an international supermodel, who comes to sit with them.

That night, they hatch a plan to see the moped boys again. They order flowers from the shop they work for, and when they come to deliver them (since clearly they are the shop’s only employees) the girls invite them out to lunch. The minute Jeremy turns his back, they rush off with the boys to see “the real Paris.”

The boys are named Jean and Michel. I never bothered to figure out which was which, but one of them barely speaks English and is constantly messing up words with “hilarious” results. They are in a rock band called The Videoheads.

Jeremy is super pissed at them, but they make him look good in front of their grandfather at dinner by reciting all of the facts about Paris that they learned that day. Then they alter the itinerary for the next day to accidentally on purpose run into Brigit so Jeremy will be distracted when they see the boys again. Jeremy and Brigit start falling in true love because of their shared passion for foreign diplomacy.

To thank them, Jeremy sneaks them some McDonald’s (they haven’t been enjoying the escargots and frog legs that the stereotypical French chef has been serving). Speaking of which, the stereotypical French chef, Henri, catches them with the fast food and is outraged. He and one of the twins make a deal that they will try each other’s food. Silly Henri tries to cut the burger with a knife and fork, and one of the twins says ““It’s called a hamburger, you have to use your hands… hamburger” as though it was spelled “handburger.”

Henri digs in and is like “OMG I LOVE CHEESEBURGERS YOU HAVE OPENED MY EYES!!!!!” Of course.

Jeremy takes the girls out for milkshakes and they ask him why he’s always so bummed out. He says it’s because the ambassador doesn’t take him seriously and doesn’t read his reports on the gross water situation and stuff. They tell him he has to stick up for himself.

The next day, Jeremy abandons the itinerary altogether and lets the girls go shopping with Brigit. There’s a very long montage of them going into stores, grabbing clothes and then modeling them on the street. Then Brigit gives them runway lessons which basically means that they walk down an alley and she says “Attitude!” about a hundred times.

That night, the boys show up to take the girls to dinner and they try to sneak out. Jeremy catches them, but he lets them go because he and the twins are now BFFs. The boys take them to some random rooftop with a nice view and share a romantic picnic. The girls find out that the Videoheads are playing at a party the next day and agree to go. Unfortunately, right as they are about to share their first kisses, the police show up to bust them for trespassing.

For some reason, the ambassador is pissed when the police show up with his granddaughters in tow. He forbids them to see the boys again and yells at Jeremy. Jeremy, newly emboldened, tells the ambassador that he’s sick of being ignored and that the twins are great girls, fun and full of life and blah blah blah and he quits.

That night, the boys throw rocks at their window and find out that they can’t go to the party after all. They say that if they can’t go with the twins, they’ll go alone which is sooooooo romantic that when their grandpa overhears, his heart is warmed.

The next day, he brings the girls new party dresses and tells them a romantic story about how he met their grandmother in Paris. The twins are like “However shall we repay him?” They decide that they need to help him convince the foreign minister to sign the clean water bill at the important dinner that night.

They do this by having the butler serve the icky tap water to the foreign minister and then giving an impassioned speech about Napoleon and sewers and national pride. The guy is like “Wow, you girls have convinced me to sign this piece of legislation! What a fun evening!”

The ambassador is so grateful that he lets the girls go to the party and also rehires Jeremy and gives him a promotion.

When the girls get to the dance, the Videoheads are playing but when Jean and Michel see the girls come in, they put down their instruments and jump off the stage to dance with them. Strangely, the music keeps on playing. They dance and kiss and promise to email each other a lot.

The next day, the twins are going to fly home. The whole household staff is heartbroken to see them leave, of course. In the limo on the way to the airport, their grandpa tells them that he’s coming with them because he wants to get to know them more. Or, in his own words, ““I wanna spend some time chillin’ with my totally A++ family.”

The movie ends with the girls reading facts about foreign countries out of a big book. The school hotties from the beginning of the movie ride up on their bikes and ask them out again. They say thanks but no thanks, and then walk off into the sunset.

Identical twins, but exact opposites:
Melanie loves music and Allie loves makeup. The movie really doesn’t put in any effort to maintain these traits, though. They’re established by showing that Melanie’s locker contains only CDs and speakers and Allie’s is full of makeup and nail polish. The only other reference to either of these is when Melanie says the following to her hunky hunky French rock star boyfriend: “I think the way they mix reggae and hip hop is totally original.”

Boy rating (out of 10): 7, for not being insufferably stupid. Though actually, I have to deduct a point for their fake French accents. So 6.

Most offensively stupid portion: Brigit.

Most offensively offensive portion: Jeremy’s impression of a Saudi prince, which consists mainly of him saying (in a horrible fake accent), “I will sign the accord if you teach me the Macarena”

Also, their grandpa’s French chef and one of the girls’ impression of him:



Best line: “I dinged her with a bounce-bounce in numbers lab” – apparently this is junior high slang for “I threw an eraser at her in math class”

Loathsomeness of purported protagonists (on a scale of 1-10):
5. They are pretty irritating, but they’re still young enough that it’s understandable. And they do eventually come to have an interest in something other than boys.

Passport to Paris in three minutes and forty-five seconds:

Stay tuned for "Switching Goals," by far the worst Olsen twins movie of all time!