Saint Etienne du mont church
It’s on the steps at the foot of the north door to the Saint-Etienne du Mont church, adjacent to the Abbé-Basset square that, every evening, Gil Pender (Owen Wilson) waits for his strange friends come from another era. Very heterogeneous, this church mixes all in one gothic, classical decor and renaissance. A marriage of styles explained by the very long construction time which spanned 1492 to 1626. The sculptures and statues were not added till the 19th century.
During another nightly ramble in Paris, Gil (Owen Wilson) and Adriana (Marion Cotillard) sit down at Paul bistro terrace. As we mention in our guide Paris of 1000 cult movies, series, musics, comics and novels locations, this establishment came to be at the beginning of the 20th century and has conserved its period architecture. Having changed hands several times, this bistro remains a must-visit of the Paris landscape.
After a visit to Monet’s gardens in Giverny, Gil and Inez (Rachel McAdams) meet up with her parents at the Bristol Hotel. During their entire stay in Paris, they are in the 320 m2 panoramic suite. With 188 rooms, this luxury hotel has the biggest private garden in Paris, a swimming pool with a view over the city and Sacré-Coeur, a spa, a three-star gourmet restaurant called Epicure, a brasserie, a bar and even its own bakery.
It’s at the Arts Forain (Fairground Arts) museum where the Fitzgerald’s crazy dance evening takes place, at which Gil is present during his third magical evening. This museum reconstitutes a décor of old fashioned rides with amusements available to the visitors. Just like the main character Woody Allen is also in love with Paris. He has even claimed he’d live here if his home was not in New York.
Gil, Inez (Rachel McAdams) and the parents have lunch at this 18th century establishment, while discussing a very typically French topic: politics. It’s actually the second time that Rachel McAdams and Owen Wilson play a couple in love, following Wedding Crashers, released in 2005. Open in 1784 at first as a café, it’s in 1820 that The Grand Véfour becomes one of the top gastronomic restaurants in Paris.
During his second night of magic, Gil is led to the home of the poetess, writer and playwright Gertrude Stein. Come to Paris in 1904 to join her brother, the American feminist quickly takes an interest in the artistic effervescence in the City of Lights. Her apartment was known for being one of the places where artists and intellectuals from the world over would meet every Saturday. It’s in fact the real address where Gertrude Stein lived with her partner Alice B. Toklas.
Now almost a Parisian, Gil wanders into the famous English bookshop in the 5th arrondissement. It’s even said that Owen Wilson, the actor behind Gil, is a regular in this shop during his stays in the capital.
At Duluc Detective, a real private detective agency, Inez’s father hires someone to follow Gil. Established on this site since 1945, the agency was founded in 1913. For the spy scene in the car, Gad Elmaleh’s only instruction was to act how he thought a real detective in hiding would. Woody Allen enormously valued this actor and thus decided to trust him totally and let him do his own thing.
At the Orangerie Museum, Gil and Inez take advantage of a highlights tour with Paul (Michael Sheen) on the occasion of a Monet exposition. Built in 1852, the building would have been a winter stocking area for the orange trees in the Tuileries Gardens. Transformed into a museum in 1927, Claude Monet set up his entire Nymphéas mural, following the proposition by Georges Clemenceau. Monet paid himself for the interior set up, and donated his work to the French nation.
In the square Jean-XXIII, Gil has the Rodin museum guide (Carla Bruni-Sarkozy) translate Adriana’s memoires. He thus finds out that the muse is in love with him and he tries to seduce her that same evening. This park has an area of 10,797 m2. An amusing bit of trivia, the ex-First Lady of France indeed took the daily payment of 150€ for the bit-part she played while her husband was still the French President.