An American Werewolf in Paris-1997
Starring Thomas Everett Scott, Julie Delpy
Scott’s Review #1,289
Reviewed August 12, 2022
While fun, An American Werewolf in London (1981) is not in my top 10 best horror films ever. Werewolf flicks were never my go-to film in the genre, and appreciating the incorporated humor, the product is entertaining but not much more.
I’ve gained more appreciation for that film when compared to the follow-up, the haphazard and goofy An American Werewolf in Paris (1997). The only elements it gets right are culturally satisfying locale shots of Paris, France, and an underappreciated starring role by charismatic actor Thomas Everett Scott.
An American Werewolf in Paris is a completely watered-down version of An American Werewolf in London but with little to no connection to it. Considering the sister European cities it’s a missed opportunity and quite a shame that cross-connection wasn’t utilized.
Three handsome young American male tourists traverse Europe for some fun and naturally to meet females. The main focal point is on Andy (Everett Scott) who is virginal and serious.
The group arrives in Paris and witnesses an attempted suicide by Parisian Serafine Pigot (Julie Delpy). Andy can amazingly save her jump from the Eifel Tower by diving after her and catching her in the nick of time.
He is injured and transported to the hospital but eventually locates Serafine.
While on a date at a nightclub with her, Andy is suddenly attacked and bitten by a werewolf. The next day he discovers that Serafine is also a lycanthrope and that he is beginning his transformation into one of the beasts.
The overall tone of An American Werewolf in Paris is silly and amateurish. The situations work poorly, like when Andy and Serafine are having coffee at a Paris cafe and he pretends a condom he is chewing is bubblegum. Later he stumbles upon ditzy American Amy Finch (Julie Bowen) and they have a graveyard adventure that leaves her un-dead and vowing revenge on Andy.
Anyone expecting authenticity like the full nudity of the human/werewolf during the transformation will be severely disappointed with the decided lack of skin-only actress Delpy bares her breasts.
Otherwise, it’s bare chests only for the males which is unfair to viewers expecting the running through the forest naked sequences as An American Werewolf in London had.
It’s a stretch that both Andy and Serafine catapult from both the Eifel Tower and later the Statue of Liberty with barely more than a scratch and very little peril to enjoy.
The wacky plot involves bad guy Claude (Pierre Cosso), his henchmen, and a transforming-inducing drug. They hold a Fourth of July party to attract American tourists to slaughter, and Serafine’s stepfather is revealed to have created a drug with the opposite intention that led Serafine to accidentally kill her mother.
It’s all weak and uninspired causing an overcomplicated storyline to become more and more contrived as the film moves along.
The makeup during the transformation sequences is lacking, especially compared with the superior special effects of An American Werewolf in London. The CGI used looks fake.
And, how could you not compare the two films?
Despite all of the negatives, An American Werewolf in Paris has a moderate presence of fun but only when Everett Scott appears. He, as Andy, is such a likable guy, wearing his heart on his sleeve, that we root for him to ride off into the sunset with Serafine.
Everett Scott and Delpy don’t have the greatest chemistry but this can be forgiven because the film is really about the werewolves.
There are no characters to root for besides Andy and every Parisian character is written as inflexible, or as any other number of French stereotypes. The only relevant Parisian references are the locales though most are built sets to replicate the real places.
There is little need to ever see An American Werewolf in Paris (1997) again since it pales tremendously to the superior An American Werewolf in London (1981).