Forget Paris

Forget Paris

Promotional movie poster for the film
Directed by Billy Crystal
Produced by Billy Crystal
Written by Billy Crystal
Lowell Ganz
Babaloo Mandel
Music by Marc Shaiman
Cinematography Don Burgess
Edited by Kent Beyda
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • May 19, 1995 (1995-05-19)
Running time
101 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $21 million
Box office $33,177,694

Forget Paris is a 1995 American romantic comedy film produced, directed, co-written by and starring Billy Crystal as an NBA referee and Debra Winger as an independent working woman whose lives are interrupted by love and marriage.

It also stars Joe Mantegna, Julie Kavner, Cynthia Stevenson, Richard Masur, Cathy Moriarty and John Spencer. A number of professional basketball players, present and past, appear as themselves.


At a restaurant in New York City, Andy prepares to introduce his friends to his fiancée, Liz. As the couple waits for the rest of the party to arrive, Andy tells Liz the story of how his friends Mickey and Ellen came to fall in love. As each of Andy's friends arrive, more of the story is unfolded.

Mickey Gordon is a National Basketball Association referee who honors his recently-deceased father's wishes by burying him at the resting site of his World War II Army platoon in France, of which he was the sole survivor, but the plans are delayed after the airline misplaces the casket.

Ellen Andrews, an airline employee from Wichita working in Paris, assists Mickey in locating and retrieving the casket. She surprises Mickey by attending the burial so he won't be alone. Mickey rides back to Paris with Ellen, and the two get to know each other along the way. Mickey decides to delay his return trip to the United States to spend time with Ellen. The two fall in love, but Mickey is forced to return for the beginning of the NBA season.

Mickey's loneliness leads him to lose his temper during a nationally-televised game. Mickey is suspended by the NBA for a week. During the suspension, he returns to Paris to see Ellen. Mickey learns Ellen is married but separated, and is unsure if she and her husband will get back together. While Mickey is in Charlotte to referee a game, Ellen arrives to meet him and reveals that she has gotten a divorce. Having quit her job in France, Ellen marries Mickey. After a honeymoon period spent on the road during the NBA season, the couple settles in the San Fernando Valley outside Mickey's hometown of Los Angeles.

When the next basketball season begins, Ellen takes an entry-level customer service job with American Airlines, while Mickey travels with the NBA. Hating her new job and only seeing Mickey a few days each month, Ellen becomes lonely and depressed. She asks Mickey to quit his job; he compromises by taking a one-year leave of absence and briefly working as a car salesman. Ellen gets promoted and climbs the corporate ladder, leaving Mickey at home to tend to her father, Arthur.

Mickey, unhappy at home with Arthur, decides to return early to the NBA. He comes home from a road trip to find Ellen gone. Before he can read her note, she arrives and explains that she had simply returned to Kansas to deliver Arthur to her siblings so she and Mickey can be alone and repair their marriage.

Ellen approaches Mickey and says she has been offered a transfer to Dallas. Mickey refuses to move away from California, so Ellen takes the airline's other offer of a transfer to Paris. Now separated, the two are seemingly content in their original arrangements: Mickey traveling with the NBA, and Ellen working for an airline in Paris. It is obvious to all of their friends that they miss each other's company.

At the restaurant, Andy's friends have caught Liz up to date, with the latest development coming four months prior. A basketball fan enters the restaurant and informs the group of an odd occurrence during the traditional singing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" prior to that night's New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden. Mickey decides to go AWOL from his job and immediately return to Paris to find Ellen. Before he can make it across the basketball court, he spots Ellen in the arena. The two meet and reconcile at mid-court, and as the arena lights come on after the anthem, the entire crowd sees the two kissing. Mickey and Ellen arrive at the restaurant together and re-tell Liz the story of their relationship.


As themselves


Forget Paris received mixed reviews from critics, as the film holds a 50% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 34 reviews.

NBA Cameos

During scenes in which Mickey is working as a referee, several professional basketball players play themselves.

David Robinson and the San Antonio Spurs play Charles Barkley, Dan Majerle and the Phoenix Suns in a crucial game of the Western Conference Finals. Also in this scene is Kevin Johnson and the Suns coach at the time, Paul Westphal.

Mickey also officiates a Los Angeles Lakers-Detroit Pistons game during Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's final season. Having a "bad day," Mickey throws Kareem out of the game for no apparent reason, then does the same to Detroit Pistons star Isiah Thomas, and then the entire roster of both teams.

Also seen are Reggie Miller, Tim Hardaway, Patrick Ewing, John Starks, Chris Mullin, Spud Webb (to whom Mickey says, "You're the only one I can talk to,"—both Webb and Billy Crystal are 5'7" tall), Bill Laimbeer, Kurt Rambis, Charles Oakley, Horace Grant, Dennis Rodman, Sean Elliott, Marques Johnson and, while Mickey was watching a game at home on his couch, Michael Jordan on television.[1]

NBA broadcasters Marv Albert and Bill Walton also appear.


External links

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