[Done ranting now — too much ranting has given me laryngitis.]

What an amazing film! It was wonderfly quirky without being annoyingly stupid. The characters were — if not exactly anyone’s next door neighbors — loads of fun: the fragile, padded hermit who paints Renoir’s “Le Déjeuner des Canotiers” once a year for twenty years; the hypochondriac tobacconist; the globetrotting garden gnome.

Amélie’s Montemarte is rather idealized — real Paris is reflected only in the album of rejected photo booth prints compiled by the obsessive romantic hero. It’s more comprehensible, more close-knit, and cleaner than the city David Sedaris lives in. After seeing this film, I’m this close to booking a flight so I can linger in Paris’ empty Metro stations, dine in its charming cafes, stroll on its quiet, stone-lined streets. Ah well. Reality dictates otherwise.