Thursday, June 23, 2011

Movie Review: "Midnight in Paris"

Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris is a decidedly simple story of fantasy and romance in Paris. When the clock chimes midnight in Paris, a writer with writer's block, witnesses the city turn into 1920's Paris right before his eyes, meeting F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, and many other prominent artists from the era. Owen Wilson plays writer Gil Pender with charm and wit; the whole movie is filled with the same amount of charm and wit, as Gil, tired of writing Hollywood movies, wants to be a real writer, while his fiance, played by Rachel McAdams, is about as opposite of a girl from Gil as any guy could imagine dating. What Gil finds when he travels back in time isn't just the key to unlocking his own writer's block, but potentially true love when he meets flapper, Adriana, played by Marion Cotillard. The charm of the story really lies in the segments taking place in the past, and most of the good humor comes in the modern day scenes when Gil tries to cover up where he is going each night. While no explanation is given as to how or why this time travel works, the charm overpowers the questions as to how and why (though these questions never leave the back of the mind either). As it is, without the occasional interlude into unnecessary politics, Woody Allen has written and directed an old fashioned fairy tale bridging modern day with that of the past, and what one can learn about their own time and appreciation of it through nostalgia. Like the romantics, it is straightforward. Is it too straightforward? Sometimes, but not enough to keep Midnight in Paris from being entertaining.

I give Midnight in Paris a B-!

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