An American Werewolf in Paris (1997) is a “sequel” to An American Werewolf in London (1981) in the same sense that your morning poop is a “sequel” to the food you ate the previous day. There may be some recognisable ingredients mixed in there, but most of the good stuff has already been removed during the digestion process, leaving only a soft, stinky, unappetising mush floating in the toilet bowl. So, you may ask, why not just flush it and forget it? Because, dear reader, hidden in that poop is a shiny diamond ring, glinting up at you, begging to be rescued, cleaned, and treasured!
[I know that’s not really the most flattering way to introduce Julie Delpy… but it’s the best analogy I could think of to describe her anomalous appearance in this flick!]
This low-brow tale of three yankee-doodle-douchebags travelling across Europe on a point-scoring “Daredevil Tour”, and goading each other into sexually harassing the locals, really has more in common with those god-awful straight-to-DVD American Pie spin-offs than it does with John Landis’ seminal horror-comedy classic. And if that were all the movie had to offer by way of characters and plot, I would have hit the “stop” button after the first ten minutes, and tossed it into the recycling pile… but then Delpy turned up as a suicidal Parisian werewolf with a tragic secret, and I couldn’t tear myself away, even as I cringed at the painfully unfunny antics occurring around her admirably straight-faced and heartfelt performance. These days, Delpy is a respected writer and director in her own right, so I’d love to see what would have happened if she’d been allowed to take charge of this production, and upgrade the other cast-members to the version of this story that she was acting out, while they were shamelessly flailing and gurning their way down the U-bend. Meh…
While Delpy emerges from this dreck with her dignity and reputation largely unblemished, simply by rising above the material like a radiant swan gliding over a sewage outlet, the same can’t be said for Julie Bowen, who is dragged deep into the muck as a ditsy American tourist, who quickly becomes wolf-meat before being brought back as an undead nuisance to the movie’s “hero”. Fans of her fine work as ‘Carol Vessey’ in Ed are advised to steer well clear of this stinker… it will only make you sad.