Midnight in Paris, or, No Time Like the Present

So I should preface by saying that I am not normally a tremendous Woody Allen fan.  However, on a friend’s recommendation, I went to see this film the other night – and I actually quite enjoyed it!  The film was a bit heavy handed in its quite overt message – no day but today, as Jonathan Larson once said.  But otherwise it was cute and the acting was great. I’m always a huge fan of Owen Wilson and the extraordinary Kathy Bates!

Also, I have to say that I really enjoyed the relationship dynamics between Owen Wilson (Gil) and Rachel McAdams (Inez).  Their strained relationship shown through the light of their encounters with others was interesting to watch, and you quickly wonder what these two ever had in common to stay together for. Gil, a Hollywood screen writer turned novelist, holds a deep nostalgia for 1920’s Paris.  He wants to move to Paris to live and write, and he enjoys Cole Porter albums and walking through Paris in the rain.  His fiance, Inez, on the other hand, wants to buy a house in Malibu and furnish it with expensive Parisian antiques.  In an effort to escape Inez’s obnoxious friend Paul, Gil walks back to he hotel while they go dancing.  Becoming lost, he somehow drunkenly falls into 1920’s Paris at the stroke of midnight, meeting a host of fun literary characters, from Dali and Hemingway, Cole Porter, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and Picasso.

It’s a lovely little story, and fancifully told, vacillating between 2010 and 1920-something.  Worth watching, though perhaps not at theater pricing.  We end up with the lesson, come to and lectured by Gil, that we must seize today and stop living in the past.  And, furthermore, if things don’t make us happy, we shouldn’t just stick with it out of habit or nostalgia, we should change those things.  Finally, in the end, Gil gets to walk through Paris, at midnight, in the rain.




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