Paris is romantic, if you walk down the street with your imagination whispering all the while in your ear. As I mentioned in another post, I've heard that Paris is the word most used in movie titles. (You can verify this by Googling "Paris movies" or going to Amazon and entering the same words for DVDs. I've just posted a sampling of their lists.)
If you go to Paris looking for romance, it's best to take it with you, though. One of the French national sports is flirting. Unfortunately, for those who don't speak French, they flirt with wit and innuendo. That is, until they've had a few drinks and then the flirting gets very personal. But-for the most part it ends with wordplay. I hate to bring this up, but surveys have shown that the French are quite a bit less promiscuous than Americans, Swedes, Germans and Brits. But, hey, go do your own survey.
(In case you aren't marching, or wiggling, off to France to do your own survey, here is a link to a very interesting study about, monogamy, flirtation, one-night-stands, etc. related to France in comparison with the U.S.)
The French are not terribly religious, meaning they aren't church going nor do they talk very much about religion. Compared to Americans, where about 90 percent believe in God, the French are veritable agnostics. But when thinking of their lack of promiscuity, I tend to think that perhaps their disciplined upbringing has something to do with their Catholic tradition (I believe the country is about 93% catholic). Put it this way, they don't just go on drinking binges and wonder how the hell they got into a stranger's bed. (The incidence of drunkenness in France is way below America and way, way below England.)
You can see romance in the movies about Paris. It's all those silks and fine decorations (see the photos below from the film Marie-Antoinette). And the tradition of Bohemian writers and artists, American as well as French. And, I think a big part of the romance comes from the accordions which somehow have become linked to the "good old" pre-World War II or even World War I days when life was slow and musical and there were wonderful dance halls in old windmills (check out the Moulin Rouge's symbol) and on the banks of rivers.
As any woman will tell you romance lives mostly in the imagination and being a poetical and Latin people, the French have cultivated the imagination.
So don't expect Paris to serve romance to you and your girl friend, boy friend, partner, spouse. When you land at Charles de Gaulle, try to overcome the paranoias and pragmatism of traveling and dream a little. Paris will meet you halfway, at least.
(If you want an Amazon "listmania" list of many movies with Paris in the title or as a subject click here for "Paris in the Movies."
By the way, as a movie, I didn't like Marie-Antoinette with Kirsten Dunst because, as many reviewers say, the acting was 1. stiff and 2. not believable. But the sets and costumes were truly marvelous. What I most disliked was that the story took place over about 20 years and there was no attempt at all to show any change in the characters, especially the King and Queen. It made it all rather unbelievable for me, though it was great as a spectacle. I also think the film was much too easy on Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI. Their greatest problem is that 1. they were both extremely bull-headed and listened to no one but their closest associates and friends (reminds me of a certain American president). And 2. The King believed, literally, that he was God's gift to the French and without him having all power the nation would dissolve. I feel sad that they were both murdered, along with their son, but in many ways they did nothing to avoid the tragedy. Oh, yes, they made a very bumbling attempt to escape over the border at the last minute to joint the Austrians and wage war against their own France. Again, being caught in their huge and obvious carriage and being late for their rendez-vous with their military guards was very much their own fault. The rest, as they say, is history.
Best Tip: Avoid the Louvre Ticket Lines at the Pyramid (Carousel) Entrance by buying the tickets at a store, the metro, the RER, over the phone
I strongly suggest you buy tickets before you arrive at the Louvre Museum. I have used the FNAC department store in the Les Halles Shopping Center near the Louvre and then entered very quickly, avoiding all lines, through the Richelieu Entrance (see the map below). I don't know whether you can do this with all advance tickets bought in other places. You can ask, most of the people at the ticket counters know at least enough English to answer such questions. To find the FNAC at Les Halles just ask someone (even the adolescents with pierced everything-they are French and so fairly polite if you yourself are gentle). Just say: Where is the FNAC? = Ou (oo) se (ser) trouve (troove) le (le) FNAC (f-nac)?
Ticket sales outside of the Louvre
In France, you may purchase tickets in advance at the following outlets:
Department Stores: Fnac, Carrefour, Continent, Leclerc, Auchan, Extrapole, Le Bon March, Printemps, Galeries Lafayette, BHV, Samaritaine and Virgin Mgastore.
Tickets may also be ordered by phone: Fnac: 0 892 684 694 (0.34 incl. VAT / minute) ; when dialing from abroad the number is 33 (0)1 41 57 32 28 http://louvre.fnacspectacles.com/
Ticketnet: 0 892 697 073 (0.34 incl. VAT / minute) ; when dialing from abroad the number is 33 (0)1 46 91 57 57 www.ticketnet.fr
The combined RATP-Louvre ticket (12.50) is available exclusively from the RATP (Dpartement Commercial-Ventes Grands Comptes) through travel agents. The ticket consists of two RATP transport tickets (metro, bus, tramway, and RER) and admission to the museum's permanent collections. Holders of this ticket also receive a 10% discount at the Louvre's cafs and restaurants.