No, life in France is not necessarily 'better' than in the USA, but it can be different.
It is expensive to live here. It's cheaper the further away you are from big cities, of course. But that also means that job opportunites get scarcer and scarcer the further away you go.
Pardon my directness, but why would being here rid you of all the things you think are making you unhappy?
As for chain stores like Home Depot...man, you should see the DIY stores that are everywhere here! It's the latest trend.
The architecture here can indeed be interesting but all cities have good and bad buildings...most city halls are abominable.
Some touristy places have started to try to recapture the charm of the past; others just redo everything from scratch to make it all look shiny and new (which is more pleasing to many German and British tourists).
If you manage to live in a neighborhood where you can actually do all your shopping in small shops (I've got them on my street but I can't say I use them much), you won't have to see the huge chain DIY stores on a daily basis, but you'll have to go there anyway as you won't find everything you need in the shops near your apartment or house.
And buying in your corner shop is always more expensive than at a supermarket. Always.
As for stopping and smelling the roses, sure, again, if you live in a place far far the congested larger cities. But my question to you would be this: can you not find quiet places to live in the USA? I know lots of people who live in quiet out of the way places in the USA that are very pleasant to live in.
If you don't speak French, then you might want to consider living in places with a substantial English-speaking community already in place. It would ease the transition.
Just beware of idealizing France. I'm not saying that you might not find your dream life here, but the French are not going to offer it up to you on a silver platter.
The more means you have, obviously, the more you will be able to offer yourself.
Good luck with whatever you decide.