Americans In Paris: 20 Essential Films

July 14 is Bastille Day, which is as good an excuse as any to knock back some Champagne, stuff an entire wedge of brie down your throat, and trot out the three phrases you still remember from high school French class.

Alternatively, you could settle in for the night and treat yourself to a movie marathon focused on something many of us would like to be: an American in Paris. Hollywood simply hasn't tired of plots that involve sending a Yank into French territory, and, frankly, neither have we. We ooh and ahh as the leads chat in flawless French with local market vendors. Our heart skips a beat when a dashing French love interest comes into play. We imagine that, the next time we're cruising down the Seine, we too will be decked out in haute couture and effortlessly chic striped tops.

Granted, Americans in Paris (cinematically, anyway) don't always have it easy. Wives get kidnapped. Daughters are sold into the sex market. Soufflés fall, waiters are snooty, lovers quarrel.

It's fine. It's still Paris. Now, pass the brie, would ya?
OPENER IMAGE: Designed by Anna Sudit.