There’s the romantic comedy version of our 24-hour trip to Paris, where a kooky pair of lovebirds hop a couple of bicycles outside Gare Austerlitz and cycle through the nearly deserted streets of Paris on a soft Sunday evening in August.
Or there’s the American Express commercial version where some middle-aged couple dine on steak frites at a great little cafe in the Marais, tracked down through Chowhound and David Leibovitz’s blog.
There’s the Godard version where two lowlifes grab a pair of bikes and cruise the Elysee Palace and Champs Elysee at midnight, putting the guards outside the president’s residence on alert and scaring the tourists by riding down the middle of the sidewalk because the bike lane is jammed with stretch hummers.
There’s the political thriller where the couple spend a fretful night in a garret apartment, with the full moon through the skylight. They know the husband has an interrogation by the US government the next morning. After months of preparation his papers are there, in the suitcase. Their future hangs in the balance. The clock ticks past three AM, four AM, five. When the alarm sounds, they’ve barely slept. She says goodbye, not knowing if she’ll ever see him again.
There’s the creepy sad movie version where an old woman sits everyday from 11 AM til 1 PM at a cafe near the Madeleine. She wears the same ancient pair of jeans, ballet slippers and striped top that she’s worn every day for the last twenty years. Every so often she glances at an antique cellphone that’s long since stopped functioning. In her faded Brooklyn Industries messenger bag is a picture of him. The tourists ask and the waiter shakes his head sadly. “She’s here every day, at this time, looking over towards that corner by the US Embassy. She thinks her husband is coming back to tell her that he’s got the visa and they can go to America. It’s very sad…”
Or finally the music video version (to the strains of Wham’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go”) where the woman looks up from her coffee to see the guy coming towards her, victorious. They embrace and then there’s a montage of meals and cafes and Paris Plages and a whirlwind shopping spree, with the couple popping out of various dressing rooms in cute outfits. They finally collapse on the 6:30 PM train back home to the countryside.