Midnight in Paris (2011) - M6.4/E7
I was looking for a DVD to spend my free Valentine’s Day promo code from Redbox. It had to be something semi-romantic, just for tradition’s sake. The choice was between Midnight in Paris and Captain America. A Woody Allen flick is easily passable, but I have to say that Captain America had probably one of the best/most realistic movie relationships ever depicted (at least as well as can be depicted in an action flick). Midnight won out, and it was a well spent 90 minutes of our evening.
Don’t let the PG-13 rating fool you, this is as tame as any PG movie I’ve seen. The trailer was a little puzzling, it really didn’t go much beyond saying that something magical happens at midnight in Paris, and then flashes some images of women not seen earlier in the trailer...hinting at some sort of infidelity. While there is some sleeping around, it’s completely off screen, and not even really implied.
Gil is a writer in search for meaning in his life. He thinks he’ll be able to work things out by going to Paris with his fiance and future in-laws (very unlikeable characters). Out of desperation, boredom, and just getting plain lost, Gil somehow finds himself in 1920’s Paris with the likes of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Salvador Dali, Gertrude Stein, Picasso, Cole Porter, and more. We see a common trend of people unhappy with living in the present, and it’s made clear that even if we were to live in the era of our dreams, that era would soon become the present and we would wish we were somewhere else again.
The only other Woody Allen film I’ve seen is The Purple Rose of Cairo, and it is very similar to this one; both are well worth watching. No strong moral message, but definitely not a negative one. It’s just a feel good story that depicts a lost character finding his true happiness by shedding the less important things in his life that keep him from it.