A Culture AI Analysis of Emily in Paris

Parisian bridge

Ah, rom coms. Makes us wish that instead of swiping for one hour to find the ‘’perfect’’ tinder match we could just accidentally bump into a cute guy, like girls always do in the movies.

There are so many aspects that make a good rom com: the on-screen chemistry between the main two characters (like Noah and Allie in ‘‘The Notebook’’), the intriguing plots (like in ‘‘To All The Boys I Have Loved Before’’ and the amazing reflective quotes about life (super recommend ‘‘About Time’’ if that’s what you’re into). We’re clearly rom-com lovers here.

These films became popular in the late 80’s and early 90’s, with films such as ‘‘Steel Magnolias’’ (released in 1989) causing great buzz. This film featured a predominantly female cast and attracted a large female audience. Soon after, ‘‘Thelma and Louise’’ and ‘‘Fried Green Tomatoes’’ were released.

Then the 90’s came along and movies with a love storyline such as ‘‘Sleepless In Seattle’’, ‘‘While You Were Sleeping’’ made ‘‘chick flicks’’ synonymous with rom-coms. Nowadays, this term has become so generic that any female-driven drama (e.g. ‘‘Wild’’) or comedy (e.g ‘‘Mean Girls’’, ‘‘Bridesmaids’’) is also assigned this category.

Examining movie data showing up in search streams

Recently, the demand for this genre has increased. In the last three months, searches in the United States for ‘‘top chick flicks’’ on Netflix grew by 160%, while non-platform-specific searches for all-time favorite chick flicks have soared by 140%.

After narrowing our research to searches in America over the last week, we found a rise in interest for these famous rom-coms: ‘‘Two Weeks Notice’’ (160% rise), ‘‘John Tucker Must Die’’ (100% rise), ‘‘Mean Girls’’ (80% rise), ‘‘Dear John’’ (80% rise), ‘‘Mamma Mia’’ (70% rise), ‘‘A Cinderella Story’’ (60% rise), ‘‘Pretty Woman’’ (60% rise) and ‘‘A Walk To Remember’’ (50% rise).

While we love these movies a lot (especially Mamma Mia — what an iconic soundtrack!), our attention has been devoted elsewhere recently: binge watching Emily in Paris.

The series shows the life of Emily Cooper, an ambitious marketing executive, who works in a Chicago firm and finds herself with an unexpected offer to work in Paris when her company acquires a French luxury marketing company. What we loved about the series? How binge-worthy, fun and easy to watch it was.

Here at Quilt.AI, we wondered how everyone else responded to this series, so we collected key insights from IMDb users’ reviews to find out more, running more than a thousand reviews of the series through our Culture AI models.

Insights from the Culture AI machine learning models…

Why people liked it: Wonderfully Hilarious

Many people saw this show as something light-hearted and entertaining to watch, with words such as ‘‘fun’’ and ‘‘funny’’ being amongst the top 10 most used words to describe the series.

We definitely laughed when (spoiler alert!) Emily had a one night stand with her friend’s brother, only to find out the next day, while in her friend’s house with his family, that he was actually only 17 years old (yikes…).Nothing tops an embarrassing scene.

Why people liked it: A lush dose of visual pleasure

People also praised the show for the beautiful scenery, good-looking cast and fashion. It’s no surprise the show aesthetic caught people’s attention, with scenes being shot in places such as the gorgeous Palais Garnier Opera House and at The Pont Alexandre III (a beautiful-touristic bridge in Paris).

Personally, we thought the series’ fashion was the best we’ve seen since Gossip Girl. It’s official: Emily is the new Serena Van Der Woodsen. She’s the character that makes us look into our wardrobe and pick outfits that makes us look lively, fun and edgy.

Why people liked it: Unchallenging, feel-good vibes

Another aspect detected among positive reviewers was how they linked the series to their favorite chick flicks, focusing on how the show’s storyline is uncomplicated and easy to watch.

It was clear that for so many people, what they really appreciated about Emily in Paris was that it’s a series that helped them escape reality for a little while. With so much going on in the outside world, they don’t really want to watch something overdramatic, nor a psychological thriller, but something that has a ‘‘feel-good’’ factor to it. (P.s., more thoughts on this in our recent Comfort Viewing blog on Peep Show.)

Why people disliked it: Stereotypes, stereotypes, stereotypes!

However, Emily in Paris also received criticism for its clichéd portrayal of France and French culture, with words “outdated”, “stereotypical” and “exaggerated” being frequently present in these reviews.

The show does portray French people as rude and really exaggerates when it comes to the lifestyle of French people. As an example, Emily goes to her workplace at 8am, but she has to wait at the office door because work starts at 11 am, when in reality people start their workday earlier in France.

How is the Paris experience depicted in the series?

Running images from the series’ IMDb page through our emotion analysis AI model, we see that the key emotions visually conveyed were: happiness, affiliation and sensuality.

We’ll be honest- reality or not, those three emotions are what we associate with Paris when we dream of it.

Concluding thoughts

It seems to us that depending on how much tolerance/love you have for cheesiness, you’d either end up loving or hating Emily in Paris.

The show’s stereotypes, uncomplicated storyline and feel-good factor makes for a standard issue easy viewing experience, if the viewer is willing to overlook the potential factual inaccuracies when it comes to portraying Parisian life and culture. After all, daydreaming looks better with rose-tinted glasses on.

To find out about other use cases of our Culture AI tools, email [email protected]