20 Movies Set in Paris to Get You Ready for the 2024 Olympic Games

Featuring plenty of Audrey Hepburn

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Although I've never been to the City of Lights, I've taken a few virtual tours by indulging in movie-night classics that take me straight to the French capital. Amélie's misadventures in Montmartre, Julia Child's mastery of French cooking and Gil's magical visits to 1920s Paris are just a few standout examples that offer a glimpse into the picturesque city. And thanks to streaming services like NetflixMax and Prime Video, I've gotten used to taking virtual trips across the pond by streaming countless movies set in Paris.

In the spirit of the 2024 Paris Olympics, I've decided to highlight several movies that capture the beauty of the city, from light-hearted musicals and rom-coms to intense, thrilling dramas. So, grab a baguette (or two) and enjoy 20 of the best movies set in Paris, from Amélie to How to Steal a Million.

1. Before Sunset (2004)

  • Cast: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Vernon Dobtcheff
  • Rating: R

Nine years after Jesse, an American writer, first meets a French woman named Celine, the two reconnect in Paris during Jesse's book tour. Katherine Gillen, PureWow's Senior Food Editor, says, “It’s a romantic drama with no plot, other than you basically watch a meandering conversation between two people in love who haven't admitted it yet. Expect lots of chemistry, lots of great scenes of Paris and lots of Ethan Hawke.”

2. Funny Face (1957)

  • Cast: Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire, Kay Thompson, Michel Auclair
  • Rating: G

Hepburn stars as Jo, a bookstore clerk who gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that includes a trip to Paris. And according to PureWow's Associate SEO Editor, Marissa Wu, it's a must-see. She says, "A pseudo-intellectual Greenwich Village girl gets a Cinderella transformation in the city of lights! It hits every major Paris landmark, the songs are fun, everything is stylish, and in the end, she falls in love. Honestly, one of my favorite movies of all time.”

3. Gigi (1958) 

  • Cast: Leslie Caron, Maurice Chevalier, Louis Jourdan
  • Rating: G

A Parisian playboy and a young courtesan-in-training start to realize that their platonic friendship is turning into something more. The only problem? The womanizing Gadton is too restlss to settle down, and Gigi refuses to settle for being his mistress. (P.S., The musical rom-com won all nine of its Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture.)

4. How to Steal a Million (1966)

  • Cast: Audrey Hepburn, Peter O’Toole, Eli Wallach
  • Rating: PG-13

From Hepburn's stunning Givenchy costumes to the talented supporting cast, there are plenty of reasons to love this heist comedy. Set entirely in Paris, it revolves around Nicole Bonnet, the daughter of an art forger. When she discovers her father's forged work could be exposed as fake at a prestigious museum, she teams up with a burglar to steal it and save her dad's reputation.

5. Amélie (2001)

  • Cast: Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz
  • Rating: R

Set in the heart of Montmartre, this charming classic follows the quirky young Amélie as she moves to Paris to become a waitress. While there, she meets quite a few colorful characters and embarks on a mission to help the people around her. The movie features several well-known locations throughout the city, from the Notre Dame Cathedral to Café Les Deux Moulins.

6. Midnight in Paris (2011)

  • Cast: Owen Wilson, Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody, Carla Bruni
  • Rating: PG-13

Wilson brings on the charm as Gil, an aspiring novelist who time-travels to the Jazz Age while vacationing in Paris with his fiancée. PureWow's VP of Entertainment and News, Philip Mutz, calls it "a love letter to the city," and according to Executive Editor Alexia Dellner, "there is a scene at Pollidor, which is a fabulous restaurant with the most decadent beef bourguignon."

7. Paris When It Sizzles (1964)

  • Cast: William Holden, Audrey Hepburn, Grégoire Aslan, Raymond Bussières
  • Rating: G

Another Audrey Hepburn classic, this rom-com follows Richard, an American writer who struggles to write his latest screenplay in Paris. With just three days left to complete it, he hires Gabrielle as his typist, who goes above and beyond to help him deliver the finished product. And along the way, they fall in love.

8. An American in Paris (1951) 

  • Cast: Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant
  • Rating: PG-13

In post-World War II France, Jerry Mulligan, a down-on-his-luck artist, receives help from a wealthy heiress with ulterior motives. Meanwhile, Jerry falls head over heels for a French woman named Lise—who's also being pursued by Jerry's friend, Henri. The film garnered eight Oscar nominations and won six, including Best Picture.

9. Paris, Je T'aime (2006)

  • Cast: Elijah Wood, Olga Kurylenko, Emily Mortimer
  • Rating: R

With a lineup of 22 directors and a stellar cast, Paris, Je T'aime will make you want to hop on the next flight to the City of Love. Stephanie Maida, PureWow's Senior Commerce Editor, says, "It's an anthology featuring 18 charming, quirky, romantic, heart-wrenching vignettes of life across the arrondissements with a star-studded cast even Americans would recognize!"

10. Julie & Julia (2009)

  • Cast: Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci
  • Rating: PG-13

Inspired by real-life blogger Julie Powell, this charming tale details her unique journey as she tries to cook all 524 recipes from Julia Child's cookbook in a year. From Julia's growing love of French cuisine to Julie's continued efforts to bring a bit of France to her hometown, I found myself craving an authentic French meal by the time the credits rolled.

11. Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (2022)

  • Cast: Lesley Manville, Isabelle Huppert, Lambert Wilson, Alba Baptista
  • Rating: PG

When Mrs. Harris, a cleaning lady and war widow, sees a gorgeous Christian Dior dress for the first time in 1950s London, she embarks on a mission to raise money and purchase her own couture gown—even if that means gambling and skipping a few meals. Manville delivers a memorable performance as a working-class hero, and if you're into the Paris fashion scene, you're in for a treat. Maida says, "It's just the most joyful, uplifting little adventure, and it gets major bonus points for all the Dior haute couture fashion."

12. Passport to Paris (1999)

  • Cast: Mary-Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen, Doran Clark
  • Rating: G

In this nostalgic comedy, the Olsen twins star as 13-year-old sisters who spend spring break in Paris with their estranged grandfather, Edward. Far-fetched plot and mediocre dialogue aside, I'll admit, the Olsens were among the first to introduce me to the beauty of Paris.

13. Hugo (2011) 

  • Cast: Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Asa Butterfield
  • Rating: PG

Based on Brian Selznick's book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, this edge-of-your-seat adventure revolves around Hugo, a 12-year-old orphan who lives within the walls of the Gare Montparnasse railway station in 1930s Paris. When he makes a new friend, he embarks on an adventure that leads to a mystery connected to his late father. Expect tons of adventure and a few glimpses of Paris's gorgeous landscapes.

14. The Red Balloon (1956)

  • Cast: Pascal Lamorisse, Georges Sellier, Vladimir Popov
  • Rating: G

The Oscar-winning short film follows a young boy named Pascal, who traipses through Paris with—you guessed it—a shiny red balloon. The fantasy comedy offers a more intimate look at the Ménilmontant neighborhood of Paris. And if you're anything like me, you'll feel like a kid again when you watch.

15. Charade (1963)

  • Cast: Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Walter Matthau
  • Rating: G

Often called the "best Hitchcock movie [Alfred] Hitchcock never made," Charade follows Regina, who travels to the French Alps and gets dragged into a cat-and-mouse game when a trio of crooks plot to take her deceased husband's fortune. Hepburn is a delight to watch, per usual, and there are more than enough shocking twists and turns to keep you entertained.

16. La Vie en Rose (2007)

  • Cast: Marion Cotillard, Emmanuelle Seigner, Jean-Paul Rouve
  • Rating: PG-13

This eye-opening biopic tells the story of French singer Édith Piaf, detailing her poverty-stricken childhood and how she rises to fame. After a chance encounter with a club owner, she pursues a successful singing career and leads a seemingly glamorous life, but behind closed doors, she deals with heartbreak, tragedy and loss.

17. Les Misérables (2012)

  • Cast: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Eddie Redmayne
  • Rating: PG-13

In post-revolutionary France, former prisoner Jean Valjean gets hunted down by a policeman named Javert for breaking parole. Meanwhile, Jean agrees to take in a factory worker's daughter, turning both of their lives upside-down. Directed by Tom Hooper, the period musical earned eight Oscar nominations and is considered one of the best adaptations of Victor Hugo's novel.

18. The Intouchables

  • Cast: François Cluzet, Omar Sy, Audrey Fleurot
  • Rating: R

I can never say no to a poignant film about unlikely friendships. In The Intouchables, Philippe, a quadriplegic millionaire who owns a lavish mansion in Paris, hires a young criminal named Driss to be his caretaker. Despite their vastly different backgrounds and ideas, they bond and become the best of friends.

19. Three Colours: Blue (1993)

  • Cast: Juliette Binoche, Benoît Régent, Florence Pernel
  • Rating: R

When Julie loses her French composer husband and child in a horrible car accident, she struggles to cope. She resorts to distancing herself from loved ones and locks herself in her Paris apartment. But after crossing paths with an old friend, she slowly begins to heal.

20. Stuck Together (2021)

  • Cast: Dany Boon, Liliane Rovère, Yvan Attal
  • Rating: TV-MA

The streets of Paris are bare, thanks to an enforced lockdown during a dangerous pandemic. While several residents leave the city, a few families stay behind at the Rue de l'Humanité. Over three months, they struggle to navigate this new reality, but in the process, new relationships are formed, and the results are just heartwarming.

nakeisha campbell bio

Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Nakeisha has been interviewing celebrities and covering all things entertainment for over 8 years, but she has also written on a wide range of topics, like career...