Under the Eiffel Tower

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Under the Eiffel Tower Movie Poster Image
Uneven midlife-crisis dramedy has drinking, language.
  • NR
  • 2019
  • 87 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Promotes open and honest relationships, putting loved ones before your career, the power of redemption.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Stuart learns from his mistakes, realizes that his relationship is more important than a business contract or deal. He's an eloquent, persuasive speaker. Louise is a kind, generous vineyard owner.


A man pursues and shoves another man.


A few love scenes featuring kissing and two people in bed. A man's bare chest is visible; so are a woman's bare shoulders, cleavage. 


Frequent strong language includes "f--k," "f---ing," "ass," "a--hole," "hell," "bulls--t," "goddammit," "wanker," etc.


Mercedes, Longchamps, Blanton's bourbon.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Lots of drinking: bourbon and wine.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Under the Eiffel Tower is a romantic dramedy about a down-and-out 50-something bourbon salesman (Matt Walsh) who finds love, and a better version of himself, while on an extended vacation in France. The movie's premise isn't too likely to appeal to teens, but the content is age-appropriate for high schoolers who might want to see a movie about a middle-aged man in crisis. Expect some strong language ("f--k," "s--t," "wanker"), lots of drinking (bourbon and wine), and a couple of non-graphic love scenes. Themes include substance abuse, adultery, midlife crises, and unexpectedly finding love after a difficult situation.

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What's the story?

UNDER THE EIFFEL TOWER is a midlife crisis dramedy starring Matt Walsh as a 50-year-old bourbon salesman who takes a seemingly ill-fated but ultimately life-changing trip to Paris. Stuart (Walsh) is a mess. Fired from his job as a successful salesman for a Louisville, Kentucky, bourbon company, Stuart agrees to go along on his best friend's two-week family vacation to France to celebrate the friend's 26-year-old daughter Rosalind's Ph.D. But during the trip, Stuart misguidedly (and creepily) proposes to Ros (Dylan Gelula) under the -- you guessed it -- Eiffel Tower. After Ros predictably turns Stuart down, explaining that she considers him an uncle, he's forced to abandon the trip in shame. Stuart soon meets handsome but sleazy Scottish footballer Liam (Walsh's Veep co-star Reid Scott), and the two new travelmates end up sharing a train with a beautiful vineyard owner, Louise (Judith Godrèche). The pair of men -- who both take a fancy to the gorgeous winemaker -- decide to accept Louise's invitation to stay at her vineyard, where they vie for her affection.

Is it any good?

This dramedy is neither romantic nor comedic enough to be a lovable romcom, but thanks to the central couple, it has just enough heart to be a passable fantasy of finding love abroad. Walsh is a gifted everyman of an actor, but he's best at comedy, so those aspects of Under the Eiffel Tower are the most memorable. Walsh is good with the humiliation humor of Stuart's misguided (and super creepy) proposal to Ros -- and the messy way he attempts to recover by teaming up with smarmy Liam. Despite being less conventionally attractive than Liam, Stuart is the much more believable match for the lovely, intelligent Louise.

But it feels like all of the movie's plot points are taken straight from a grab bag of clichés. At this point, not even the intrinsic charms of Paris, fine food, wine, and the French countryside can make up for the predictability of this story about a middle-aged man in crisis who ends up winning the heart of a gorgeous woman. The acting is fine, but the story is so formulaic that it's basically forgettable, making for an uneven combination. Still, in addition to Walsh's capable performance, Godrèche stands out as the complicated and generous Louise, and Scott is utterly believable as an amoral narcissist. The cinematography doesn't need to do much to immerse audiences in France's beauty, but by the end, the movie feels like yet another redo of so many similar films.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the amount of drinking in Under the Eiffel Tower. Is it glamorized? Are there consequences? Why does that matter?

  • Some people have pointed out that it's refreshing to see an "average-looking guy" end up with a "gorgeous" love interest. What do you think? Is that really uncommon? How often is it the other way around, with a gorgeous guy and "average-looking girl"?

  • Why do you think so many romantic movies are set abroad? Does this movie make you want to visit Paris and the French countryside?

  • Who, if anyone, is a role model in the movie? What character strengths do they display?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love romance and comedy

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