French Kiss is one of the most genuine films I've seen and it really captures what is magical about love. It is more complex than just a simple opposites-attract love story, because there's a lot more going on behind this story. I love how they sell it as if you are watching one love story and eventually you realize that's not true love, we just have to wait for our main character to figure this out as well. Meg Ryan is absolutely perfect in this film, because the story allows her to utilize all her best acting talents. There are few actresses who could pull off the amount of whining and complaining that she does in this film without becoming obnoxious and annoying but Meg Ryan somehow does it. She is beautiful and charming even in her character's weakest moments. On the other side of the love story, I must ask, is Kevin Kline actually French? I just can't believe how perfectly he sells that personality and the language/accent. I'm sure to a native of France he would sound absolutely unconvincing, but to my ear it's perfection. I love the character of Luc, because he is a strange combination of a thief and an idealist. It's like having a scoundrel (like Han Solo) in a romantic comedy. Finally I should mention how perfect Timothy Hutton is as the cad boyfriend who sparks this entire story. He plays clueless and confused without becoming unrealistic, which is actually not that easy.
My favorite part of French Kiss is the well-crafted story. It flows so nicely, and carries the characters very logically from one scene to the next. It doesn't feel as contrived as most rom-coms tend to be. It has some good sharp dialogue, and witty one-liners. I also appreciate that it doesn't necessarily fall into the Hollywood cliches about love, instead it takes a more genuine look at what love is about and how you can spot when it is real. I like that Luc advises Kate not to go chasing after her man like a lost puppy, because he's giving her real-life good advice instead of the nonsense you'll often see in movies. The story builds brilliantly and by the end I am completely sold on the fact that the 2 main characters are totally in love. They even set up a few key plot points that come into play later which are so subtle you'd never realize they were going to be addressed again. I'm not sure why French Kiss wasn't one of the most popular romantic comedies of the 90s, but it is definitely one of my favorites. In fact I think it is one of my favorite films of all time. It's not big and flashy, it didn't win any awards or anything, but it makes me feel good every time I watch and that's not so easy to find in films nowadays.