Midnight In Paris - ***
Directed by: Woody Allen
Starring: Owen Wilson, Marion Cotillard, Rachel McAdams, Adrian Brody, Kathy Bates, Michael Sheen
Review: I am going to start by disclaiming my large amount of detest I have towards Woody Allen. I often find his movies arrogant and pedantic, which is quite humorous as there is a character of such ilk in this very movie. Further, it is perhaps this level of self awareness Allen has reached that has allowed him to make movies that even I can enjoy. It also doesn’t hurt to have a lead actor like Owen Wilson who is such a likeable actor that he can add to just about any movie.
‘Midnight in Paris’ is a movie about going after your hopes and dreams and not settling for your current reality. It’s not saying that everyone has to forgo their current reality, but simply realizing that you don’t have to settle for what makes sense because you can follow your dreams that will in turn inspire more dreams. This is exactly the situation that Gil finds himself when he and his fiancée are visiting Paris.
Gil has always felt out of his element. He is one that has always seemed like he would do better in a different time period. Paris in the 1920’s is the era Gil whishes himself into more. As a writer, being in the presence of such greatness as Ernest Hemmingway, Salvador Dali, and Picasso would only help him hone his craft as he strove to be the best writer he could be. As luck would have it, when you stand at a certain spot when midnight strikes in Paris, a 1920’s era car comes in and whisks Gil away to a time gone by.
Gil is understandably infatuated with this experience and tries to find a way that he can stay stuck in the 1920’s and live out his days in the era he’s always wanted. There’s a small snag though, as the people in this time, don’t want to live in their time either. It is at this point where Gil learns that it’s not about changing the things you can’t control, it’s about changing the things you CAN control. His happiness level isn’t a product of his environment it’s a product of what he makes of his environment. This is where he decides to change his life, hopefully for the better.
As far as Woody Allen movies go, this was a more enjoyable one that doesn’t slip off into pedantic chatter between narcissistic pseudo-intellectuals. Rather, this film maintains its lighthearted-ness and gets it’s point across without having to delve too deep. I enjoyed it more than I thought but it was nothing special. I would say it’s worth your time on a rental.