I love the movie “Midnight in Paris” was so good that I will be doing a series on it. My favorite Woody Allen movie is Crimes and Misdemeanors and I will provide links to my earlier posts on that great movie.
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS is the latest Woody Allen comedy. As such, it contains some of the fantasy elements of some of his older movies, like THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO, where a man from a 1930s movie steps out of the frame and enters the life of a woman neglected and emotionally abused by her husband.
The movie stars Owen Wilson as Gil, a successful yet unfulfilled screenwriter who hopes to become an acclaimed literary novelist. He and his fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams) are visiting Paris with her parents, a city Gil finds fascinating because of its rich history from the 1920s literary scene of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Picasso, and other acclaimed writers and artists. Gil is uncomfortable with the modern-day changes in Paris, and dislikes a couple who are friends with Inez, so he opts to walk alone late one night through the city while Inez and her friends go dancing.
At the stroke of midnight, a luxurious 1920s-era car pulls up and tells him to climb inside. Once he does, he finds himself surrounded by people like Hemingway and Fitzgerald and his wife. They take him to a series of parties that seem real, but when he leaves each morning, the neighborhood around him transforms into modern-day drabness and he can’t find the car and the party the next night when he tries to prove what happened to Inez.
As Inez starts to thinks he’s crazy and starts spending more time alone with the male from her friend, Gil keeps going out at midnight and getting drawn further into a delight-filled social circle of the greatest writers and artists of the 20th Century. He also gets emotionally drawn to a woman named Adriana (Marion Cotillard), who bounces from relationship to relationship among the artists and starts winning Gil’s heart. [SPOILERS FOLLOW] Eventually, he has to confess he no longer feels Inez and he have anything in common, and she reveals she’s had an affair the whole trip with her male friend. Gil and Inez split up, with Gil staying in the city of his dreams but with a new romance brewing with a modern-day bookseller who loves the past as much as he does.
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS is a refreshing soufflé of a comedy that will appeal mainly to older bohemians, rather than mass audiences and younger viewers. It has fun with famous literary and artistic figures. Even the few sexual innuendos and references in the movie are relatively innocent, especially compared to other movies in the same genre, but the storyline does involve some promiscuity that is condoned. With only brief foul language, all the actors involved have a blast with their roles, especially the ones playing famous figures. The frequent casual drinking and smoking fit the setting of the 1920s era.
There are, however, a couple jokes made against “right-wing Republicans” and the Tea Party, but they are met with funny reactions in return by the Republican characters. MIDNIGHT IN PARIS has a Romantic worldview that features brief foul language, innuendo, promiscuity, and plenty of social drinking.
I have decided to start a series of posts on the characters referenced in the movie “Midnight in Paris.” Right now I have plans to look at William Faulkner,Cole Porter, Fitzgerald, Heminingway, Juan Belmonte,Gertrude Stein, Gauguin, Lautrec, Geores Brague, Dali, Rodin,Coco Chanel, Modigliani, Matisse, Luis Bunuel, Josephine Baker, Van Gogh, Picasso, Man Ray, T.S. Elliot and several more.
Below are other posts about Woody Allen:
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