A We'll Never Have Paris is a personal story for and his wife Jocelyn Towne. They experienced the drama at the heart of their co-directed romantic-comedy. Labeling it a romantic comedy is almost disingenuous, since it's not exactly romantic. And when it is, like at the end, it's the film at its weakest. Until those last 15 minutes, it's a refreshingly unromantic love story.
The neurotic Quinn (Simon Helberg) has only been with one woman his whole life. That woman, Devon (), is great, but is she the one? Quinn is ready to propose to her until he realizes his inexperience. Can he just be with one woman his whole life? It's a question he starts to ask himself after the girl that modeled once, Kelsey (), says she's in love with him. This disrupts his plan to marry Devon. After Devon realizes something is wrong, she takes off to Paris for a break. Before going after her, Quinn gets Kelsey and other girls out of his system before flying to Paris to win Devon back.
So it's obvious Quinn isn't exactly a romantic hero. In most movies, in fact, he'd be the villain. He's selfish, narcissistic, and, more often than not, annoying. The first hour of the movie is well-aware of how destructive Quinn's neurosis can be. At one point Devon, and Helberg, wisely point out how annoying the always quippy romantic lead can be. One's self-impressed jokes isn't always appropriate.
What's ironic is that the film makes that same mistake itself. The last 20 minutes grow too broad when it's dealing with a serious conflict. Some humor is fine, of course, but what Helberg does with Kelsey at the end is too much. Whether it happened in real life or not doesn't matter. In the context of the movie, it reduces Kelsey to a cartoon. There's one phone call scene that humanizes her that ultimately gets overshadowed by this script choice in the finale.
The third act goes too big. It's at its best when there's a natural and easygoing charisma, like when and are onscreen. Directors should really start utilizing the charm Quinto shows here. He has an easiness to him here that he doesn't get to show often enough. Molina, being the pro that he is, achieves that same level of likability that Quinto does in an even shorter window of screen time.
Overall, We'll Never Have Paris is a modest success. It has some big laughs, some jokes that don't land, and a few too many gags at the end, but, generally speaking, Helberg and Towne overcome the film's lesser jokes and misguided tonal choices. Every so often they find a relatable moment that excuses some of the broader strokes. It's just a shame the movie doesn't take a bigger chance at the end with Quinn. He gets off too easy, but for those looking for an audience-friendly rom-com, they'll get it here with this closure.