Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen ) 2011
Midnight in Paris is about Gil (Owen Wilson) and Inez (Rachel McAdams), who are having a vacation in Paris prior to their wedding. Gil is wanting to work on his book (instead of going back to his lucrative career) and is kind of stuck in a nostalgic fixation with the past. Inez doesn’t really understand Gil and the two butt heads over what his priorities should be. In his frustration, Gil goes for a walk and when a bell signals midnight in Paris, he is transported to the 1920’s with all of his literary heroes.
If you are familiar with me you know I have a fickle relationship with Woody. I guess it didn’t help I came into movies right around the time when he sucked the hardest. I’m sure it is something completely different for those that started in his prime and can more easily look over his occasional missteps. For me it has been a little harder to start with my initial assessment from my first few movies. Even in this year, when this movie came out and reviewers were praising it I still couldn’t help thinking “God…I really don’t want to be stuck in another Scoop.” Well not only is this not another Scoop, but it is probably the best comedy so far this year.
I haven’t seen Allen so energetic or fun in quite a long time. His enjoyment of the subject is pretty much contagious to the audience as you fall for the characters and the setting. Owen Wilson does a good job as the resident Allen-substitute. What really stands out is the cast of characters that surround Gil. When Gil meets his literary heroes and all these colorful characters it is absolutely hilarious. All of the actors playing those roles do a great job in making them fun characters and you will love Hemmingway and Dali. All of this is framed in the great direction of Allen who makes Paris (in any time frame) beautiful.
New settings seem to inspire Woody as you see everything come together well for this movie. The plot is interesting and well executed, the acting is top notch, and the comedy is just right for this movie. The movie didn’t run on too long and there were no glaring problems with anything. Sure there may be minor quibbles, but nothing major. I like to actually repeat a line from a reviewer I read in that I like to give this comedy more credit than I usually would because of its originality. It is rare to see a movie that is not a remake/sequel/prequel or a standard dick/fart joke movie. Normally I would classify a review by possibly saying “If you are a Woody Allen fan…” but I think this movie would be fun for anyone. Highly recommended.