Taglines: They were having so much fun in Paris. If only they could keep from falling in love.
Mo Alexander’s bad luck is that she misses the plane in Paris carrying her tour group and her luggage. On top of this, she finds that it will take several days for the travel agent to work out the problem. In the meantime, Mo meets Xavier, a true Parisian, who sees Mo as an opportunity to enjoy himself while his family is out of town.
Mo reluctantly begins an affair with him, and finds herself wrestling with her conscience. For Xavier, Mo is a challenge to his cultural identity making it difficult to dismiss her. They enjoy a beautiful physical and emotional relationship, and in the end, being in love with Mo has the ability to alter Xavier on a fundamental level.
Until September is a 1984 romantic drama film. Directed by Richard Marquand, it stars Karen Allen, Thierry Lhermitte, Christopher Cazenove, Hutton Cobb, Michael Mellinger, Nitza Shaul, Rachel Robertson, Raphaëlle Spencer, Joanna Pavlis and Helen Desbiez, Karen Allen as an American tourist, and Thierry Lhermitte as a French banker, who fall in love in Paris.
Review for Until September
IT all begins when Mo Alexander (Karen Allen), a perky American from the Midwest, misses her flight out of Paris. Through a series of coincidences too perfect for close scrutiny, this denim-clad vagabond winds up in the posh apartment of a former schoolmate named Chantal. Chantal, like every other serious Parisian, is out of town for her August vacation. So are the wife and children of Chantal’s next-door neighbor, Xavier de la Perouse (Thierry Lhermitte). Xavier has an even fancier apartment and just happens to be the best-looking, best-dressed Frenchman this side of Louis Jourdan.
Harsh reality does not figure prominently in ”Until September,” which opens today at Loews New York Twin and other theaters. But as romantic fluff, it is not without its charms, especially in its early stages. Mo, who has apparently arrived in Paris with a great many francs (or at least a very good credit rating), has soon acquired a glamorous wardrobe and is being squired about town by Xavier, who lectures her suavely about wines.
Mo sees this as purely platonic, and there are a great many – too many – scenes in which she firmly bids Xavier good night at Chantal’s door. Eventually, if only to establish that Paris weaves a magic spell and that their heroine is not an idiot, the movie’s director, Richard Marquand, and screenwriter, Janice Lee Graham, allow the inevitable to happen.
After this, things slow down somewhat as ”Until September” devotes itself to examining cross-cultural differences. French toast is not really French, Xavier explains. Mo, for her part, rhapsodizes about ”cornfields and wheatfields that spread out as far as the eye can see.” The biggest difference between them is something of more consequence, since Mo believes in fidelity and in not getting her feelings hurt. But Xavier coolly manages both a wife and a full-time mistress.
”I’m just an odd girl to fill up an odd month that you didn’t know what to do with!” Mo complains, with some justification. In a movie like this, Xavier’s answer must inevitably be, ”Everything’s been so beautiful – let’s not spoil it.”
Mr. Marquand, who after ”Eye of the Needle” and ”Return of the Jedi,” is certainly working in a different mode, knows enough to keep a hint of happiness on the horizon, and to lay on lots of scenery. And his stars work well together, despite all the screenplay’s contrived sparring and the boundless gusto of all-American Mo.
Miss Allen’s great asset here is her vibrant joie de vivre, Mr. Lhermitte’s his smooth, matinee idol manner. Christopher Cazenove is worldly and unflappable as a married British friend of Xavier’s. They all perform ably, if predictably, and are only marginally upstaged by Paris, the movie’s real star.
Until September (1984)
Directed by: Richard Marquand
Starring: Karen Allen, Thierry Lhermitte, Christopher Cazenove, Hutton Cobb, Michael Mellinger, Nitza Shaul, Rachel Robertson, Raphaëlle Spencer, Joanna Pavlis, Helen Desbiez
Screenplay by: Janice Lee Graham
Production Design by: Hilton McConnico
Cinematography by: Philippe Welt
Film Editing by: Sean Barton
Makeup Department: Eric Pierre
Art Direction by: Régis Des Plas
Music by: John Barry
Distributed by Metro Goldwyn Mayer, United Artists
Release Date: September 21, 1984