All Paris, No City [Also, Everything Everywhere All at Once]
Emily in Paris Week. Are your descriptions and settings slathered in butter?
So, I'd been wanting to watch Everything Everywhere All at Once since the day the trailer launched. But LIFE. I somehow just got around to seeing it a couple of weekends ago, and I am SO UPSET I didn't catch this one earlier. I’m actually tempted to watch it again. I loathe re-watching things—but that’s how much I love this movie.
It somehow managed to pack all of our favorite butter from all of our favorite movies into one super-satisfying—not to mention super-smart—drama. Action movie? Comedy? I’m still not sure what I watched from front to back without blinking.
But today on the Substack, we’re talking about why Emily in Paris is one of those frustrating kinds of entertainments. Utterly easy to consume, even if you don’t like it or have valid issues with its content.
Butter Comps: Sex and the City, Friends, Ed Sheeren’s Greatest Hits, McDonald’s
This is normally where I’d try to insert a spoiler-alert, but there isn’t one because it’s weirdly easy to talk about why EiP is yummy without actually talking about what happens in the show.
Much of EiP’s appeal revolves around the show’s commitment to being a complete fantasy. It goes ALL IN, starting with its location.
All Paris, No City
This super-clean, color-soaked version of Paris has zero graffiti, no unhoused people—no poorly dressed worker bees getting on and off the subways. Jeans only appear in the first two episodes—as a way to show Emily doesn’t fit into this très chic place. And I’m pretty sure even students who attend university don’t wear hoodies in EiP’s version of Paris.
Back in April 2019, I spent a few days in Paris, and it was cold and rainy. But the sun shines at its most sparkling in Emily’s Paris. Coats are zippy things only meant to be paired with perfectly coordinated outfits. There is nothing such as a gray day, and I’m beginning to suspect it will never, ever rain—unless two characters need a reason to kiss.
And you know what, that’s kind of what makes watching Emily in Paris feel like you’ve opened an Eiffel Tower-shaped gold foil box of chocolates. The show looks the way it’s creators want us to feel while watching it. As if we’re flipping through a luxurious magazine spread of our millennial Avatar living the fantasy of residing and working in the City of Fashion.
Hopefully, this reminds us not to forget to butter up our locations—especially if you’re writing rom-coms or those delicious women’s fic novels with beach chairs on the cover.
Here are some easy ways to make sure your location is dripping with butter.