Move over Bridget Jones, there are some new lovelorn ladies in town! Love (and Trouble) in Paris is a new six-part series from PMSA and France Télévisions that tells the story of the ups and downs in the love lives of three single women seeking l’amour in the city of love and light. Philippe Teissier, the series’ Artistic Director, and Julia Schulte, International Sales Director for France tv distribution discuss the show’s fresh take on the romantic comedy genre and its international potential.
A perfect Parisian series about not-so-perfect love
Unifrance: How did Love (and Trouble) in Paris get off the ground?
Philippe Teissier: Extremely simply! Via Anne Holmes and Anne Didier, France Télévisions let us know that they were looking for a romantic comedy for their channel. Alain Pancrazi and Jean-Baptiste Frey, the series’ producers, and I developed the idea, and it pleased them straight off. Over the nine months of lockdown, the writers Armelle and Emmanuel Patron created the six episodes of Love (and Trouble) in Paris .
The series tells the story of Julie: 36 years old, recently dumped, no children, unemployed – she ticks all boxes of the ultimate loser. But one phone call changes everything. Max is on the line, and he makes a fabulous proposal of marriage. Julie is ecstatic until she realizes that the phone she is clutching is not her own.
Unifrance: The series focuses on three protagonists. How did you go about casting?
Philippe Teissier: This is above all a story about friendship. Our casting director, Sophie Blanchouin, along with series director Pascale Pouzadoux and myself, did some really in-depth work because the hardest thing to achieve with this casting was the right alchemy between the three friends. That’s what we found with Jul – Maud Baecker, Ava – Nadia Roz and Manon – Isabelle Vitari.
Julia Schulte: There’s also Tom Leeb’s character, Stéphane, who becomes Julie’s flatmate at the start of the series. He makes a place for himself among these three very different women with very distinct personalities but who, deep down, are looking for the same thing: intense love. Stéphane offers a very different perspective within the group of friends. He supports, advises and helps them.
Philippe Teissier: Actually, I can share a secret. Tom Leeb travels by motorbike throughout the series but he doesn’t actually have a license! That’s the magic of TV – hurrah for stunt doubles!
Unifrance: This romantic comedy takes place in Paris. How did you avoid the clichés?
Philippe Teissier: Paris is a fabulous backdrop that enabled us to film in some incredible places like the Pont Neuf, right on the Seine, and in other, less well known places like La Campagne à Paris, a little village in the heart of the capital. Whatever you’re making, Paris is an exceptional asset, and we used it to enhance the series’ beauty.
Love (and Trouble) in Paris is a true romantic comedy, but the message it conveys – with humor – is that while you should never lose hope and true love does exist, it is plural, volatile, capricious, suprising, hidden, unpredictable, and often very different from what we imaging! The series tells love stories through the journeys of several characters – men and women – from their position in society, their femininity, their masculinity, through lies, taboos, desire and what they do with it. It comes to the conclusion that there is definitely no single type of love.
Unifrance: The series will be launched at MIPCOM – what are your expectations?
Julia Schulte: Yes, the series is one of our new flagship programs that will be launched at the next MIPCOM. We are very proud to have acquired Love (and Trouble) in Paris for our line-up and proud of our collaboration with the production company PMSA.
The romantic comedy à la Bridge Jones is back, but this time Made in France!
Our objective is to extend the international reach of a romantic comedy that takes place in Paris, and which is also the first romantic comedy in our line-up. It’s an opportunity to meet different programming needs and provoke new enthusiasm among buyers as they find this new genre in our line-up. We are delighted to promote French know-how in fiction on the international stage. During MIPCOM, we hope to generate a lot of interest and – even better – sales! And the recent success of romantic comedies filmed in Paris on various platforms supports our idea that there is real interest abroad.
Unifrance: Who does the series’ target?
Julia Schulte: The series handles universal themes that touch us all. It’s a series about love in all its guises. Its modernity and universal nature mean it will appeal to viewers of all ages and on every continent. It’s a feel-good comedy for all the family. That’s why we are targeting international linear buyers but also platform buyers. We are confident that the series will appeal to our usual buyers and also attract an even more diverse viewership. In terms of countries, a love story set in Paris will appeal in English-speaking countries, but also Southern Europe and Germany.
Unifrance: Where can we find Julie, Stéphane, Ava, Manon and the others now?
Philippe Teissier: We are currently in post-production. We are finishing up editing the six episodes. It is a romantic comedy with lots of humor and sensitivity.
Julia Schulte: We hope the series will attract a large number of international buyers after the launch at MIPCOM. French viewers will be able to see it on France 2 in 2022.