Wednesday, July 01, 2009

"Tell her not to talk to any French boys"

Summertime. I'm lounging poolside, reading a book. A quartet of ladies is bobbing in the shallow end, chatting. One remarks, "My 16-year-old niece is going to Paris tomorrow -- she's flying by herself." Evidently the girl in question was going to stay with some friends of the family.

"Oh My God," booms one bouncing voice. "Tell her not to talk to any French boys! Have you seen that movie, Taken?" She continues, explaining the plot in terrifying detail, about a 17-year-old who goes to Paris one summer and ends up getting kidnapped into white slavery. (Plot synopsis here.)

I don't budge, but I do twitch for a moment. I am torn. I really want to go cannonball them and say, "Come on, ladies, that's just a contrived thriller plot, total fiction," and enlighten them (har!) with my monologue about how it's so safe in France, how I just lived in Paris for three years, yadda yadda yadda.

But instead I laze there like a lizard in the sun, wondering how much damage that movie has done.


Anonymous said...

ya, i watched taken the other night and was pretty freaked out. but what people need to remember is that the girls in the movie, while nice enough, made some key travelling errors - something which is not the fault of paris.

Starman said...

It's amazing what can gush forth from the mouths of people who have never been to Paris or, probably, anywhere else outside the US.

YSLGuy said...

It's amazing what people will believe.

Puddles said...

As a girl of 17 with hopes of a year abroad in Paris I've never tried harder to keep a movie away from my parents. This kind of movie plays off of and intensifies irrational fears. Psh.

Linda said...

My daughter is studying French and wants to go back to Paris. She actually got the "Taken" DVD for her dad on Father's Day and has watched the movie numerous times (she's 15) I guess she loves how daddy/Liam comes in to kick butt. It is a fantastic action flick. But God, that movie is a parents' worst a nightmare! And I agree with the above, Paris isn't the problem, it's the girls with no street smarts (esp. the daughter's friend in the flick.)

La Grenadine said...

That's my first visit to your blog, so : Hi ! =)
I didn't hear about this movie. But, what this woman said make me laugh. xD
Of course, Paris isn't very very safe. But which town is ? lol. =)
That's entertaining. ^^ I will come back to read your new posts. =)

Teresa said...

I am happy that this movie came out AFTER I sent my daughter (then 16) to Annecy, France as an exchange student (2004-05). She had a totally wonderful time and made some friends for life.

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