PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 13:  French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes US President Donald Trump prior to a meeting at the Elysee Presidential Palace on July 13, 2017 in Paris, France. As part of the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the entry of the United States of America into World War I, US President, Donald Trump will attend tomorrow at the Bastille Day military parade.  (Photo by Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images
PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 13: French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes US President Donald Trump prior to a meeting at the Elysee Presidential Palace on July 13, 2017 in Paris, France. As part of the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the entry of the United States of America into World War I, US President, Donald Trump will attend tomorrow at the Bastille Day military parade. (Photo by Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:51
How the Macron-Trump bromance evolved
President of France Emmanuel Macron addresses the United Nations General Assembly on September 25, 2018 in New York City.
PHOTO: John Moore/Getty Images
President of France Emmanuel Macron addresses the United Nations General Assembly on September 25, 2018 in New York City.
Now playing
00:43
Macron fires back at Trump in UNGA speech
PHOTO: POOL
Now playing
01:42
Trumps welcome Macrons to first state dinner
US President Donald Trump (L) and French President Emmanuel Macron (R) shake hands ahead of a working lunch, at the US ambassador's residence, on the sidelines of the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) summit, in Brussels, on May 25, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Mandel NGAN        (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
US President Donald Trump (L) and French President Emmanuel Macron (R) shake hands ahead of a working lunch, at the US ambassador's residence, on the sidelines of the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) summit, in Brussels, on May 25, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
00:46
Macron: Trump handshake was moment of truth
French president-elect Emmanuel Macron greets supporters before delivering a speech in front of the Pyramid at the Louvre Museum in Paris on May 7, 2017, after the second round of the French presidential election.
 (Photo credit should read ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images
French president-elect Emmanuel Macron greets supporters before delivering a speech in front of the Pyramid at the Louvre Museum in Paris on May 7, 2017, after the second round of the French presidential election. (Photo credit should read ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:32
What to know about Emmanuel Macron
PHOTO: pool
Now playing
02:49
Macron warns US Congress: There's no Planet B
French President Emmanuel Macron speaks to a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 25, 2018. Standing behind him are Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
PHOTO: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
French President Emmanuel Macron speaks to a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 25, 2018. Standing behind him are Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Now playing
01:12
Macron: No democracy without truth
French President Emmanuel Macron arrives at the ancient Greek Theatre of Taormina during the Heads of State and of Government G7 summit, on May 26, 2017 in Sicily.
The leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the US and Italy will be joined by representatives of the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as well as teams from Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria and Tunisia during the summit from May 26 to 27, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Tiziana FABI        (Photo credit should read TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: TIZIANA FABI/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
French President Emmanuel Macron arrives at the ancient Greek Theatre of Taormina during the Heads of State and of Government G7 summit, on May 26, 2017 in Sicily. The leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the US and Italy will be joined by representatives of the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as well as teams from Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria and Tunisia during the summit from May 26 to 27, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Tiziana FABI (Photo credit should read TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:01
Macron to US: Make our planet great again
President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron, first lady Melania Trump and Brigitte Macron hold hands on the White House balcony during a State Arrival Ceremony at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
PHOTO: Pablo Martinez/AP
President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron, first lady Melania Trump and Brigitte Macron hold hands on the White House balcony during a State Arrival Ceremony at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Now playing
02:15
Cillizza's thoughts on picture of Trumps, Macrons
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:08
Melania plans Trump's first state dinner
Trump Macron long handshake dlewis_00000000.jpg
Trump Macron long handshake dlewis_00000000.jpg
Now playing
00:38
Trump's never-ending handshake with Macron
Macron and his wife Brigitte stand with Trump and First Lady Melania Trump during a welcoming ceremony at Les Invalides in Paris.
PHOTO: Yves Herman/pool/ap
Macron and his wife Brigitte stand with Trump and First Lady Melania Trump during a welcoming ceremony at Les Invalides in Paris.
Now playing
00:48
Trump comments on Macron's wife's appearance
US President Donald Trump (2nd R) shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron (2nd L) and his wife Brigitte Macron (L), next to US First Lady Melania Trump, during the annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris on July 14, 2017.
The parade on Paris's Champs-Elysees will commemorate the centenary of the US entering WWI and will feature horses, helicopters, planes and troops. / AFP PHOTO / POOL AND AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT        (Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
US President Donald Trump (2nd R) shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron (2nd L) and his wife Brigitte Macron (L), next to US First Lady Melania Trump, during the annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris on July 14, 2017. The parade on Paris's Champs-Elysees will commemorate the centenary of the US entering WWI and will feature horses, helicopters, planes and troops. / AFP PHOTO / POOL AND AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT (Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:15
Trump and Macron at Bastille Day (2017)
Macron stands up against President Trump Bell pkg_00010411.jpg
Macron stands up against President Trump Bell pkg_00010411.jpg
Now playing
01:54
Macron takes a stand against Trump
trump marcron handshake akward alee_00002330.jpg
trump marcron handshake akward alee_00002330.jpg
Now playing
00:28
Watch Trump and Macron's extended handshake
(CNN) —  

Lengthy handshakes, warm embraces, cheek kisses and even a bit of grooming.

Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump’s bromance seemed to truly blossom on Tuesday. But for all the public display of affection between the two leaders in Washington, back in France, the reaction was a typical Gallic shrug and a certain dose of cynicism both on the streets of Paris and in the loftier circles of France’s elites.

“It’s just a battle of egos! Two great narcissists who adore themselves, they love themselves. It’s all a communications strategy,” Michel Onfray, one of France’s most famous philosophers, told CNN.

Onfray said the real issues, like the Iran nuclear deal, could not be solved if egos and communications startegies mattered more than substance.

The real problem, he said, was not only the influence of Iran in the region and the battle between Sunnis and Shias, but the deeper question of how an age-old Persian culture dealt with a Gulf region built on a very different history.

The issues involved, he said, deserved real diplomacy and real thought, which was not, he believed, what they had received.

On the Champs-Élysées it was also hard to find much more than cynicism about the images and what they had meant. Thirty-year-old Martin said the various marks of affection between the two presidents were merely “anecdotal” and that they “acted as a distraction from what was really at stake: Iran.”

On the political front, what emerged from the White House on Tuesday was taken a little more seriously, with the leader of the far left, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, condemning Macron’s rapprochement to Trump. He tweeted about the “terrible aligning of Macron on Trump’s position. In Iran, war on the horizon. Macron is a danger for peace.”

There is a sense in Europe that beyond the images and the all too obvious displays of affection, there has been little movement on the part of the American President when it comes to actual policy.

In fact, the one who seems to have moved the most – and in particular on the Iran deal – appears to be the man who’d gone to Washington in the hope of wooing Donald Trump into submission.

High hopes had been pinned on Europe’s “Trump whisperer” to take his state visit to DC as an opportunity to raise issues on which Trump’s public statements had caused concern for European leaders: ranging from trade to Syria. But Trump doesn’t seem to have budged an inch. As France’s former interior minister, Matthias Fekl, told French radio station RFI: Macron’s charm offensive “hasn’t helped move the big topics forward by one iota”.