The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)

Entertainment Rating: 4 of 5

This was a great recommendation from a movie buff friend of mine (whether he’s a movie-buff or buff friend, I’ll leave that to your imagination). Coincidentally, the rec came just before Netflix removed the film from its streaming library. While not a laugh-out-loud flick, it was fun and very well written and acted. The PG rating is accurate, some of the themes may be for a more mature audience. When you find yourself thinking that this is the type of movie you would want to see again before the movie is even over, that’s a good sign. Definitely check this one out, you can’t be disappointed.

Moral Rating: 4 of 5

[Spoiler Alert]

I was a little worried at first where the movie was going with the broken marriage relationship and how far they would show the couple violating their marriage vows. It was a little uncomfortable to see Cecilia pursue another man, but only because she is portrayed as a victim of a bad marriage relationship; while the fact that her husband was a cheat was easily accepted because her husband, Monk, was a jerk. This brings up an interesting thought: With Cecilia’s and Monk’s relationship as bad as it was (possibly unworkable), is it OK to leave the marriage?

The scene in the brothel was one of the best in the movie. Woody Allen (writer and director) did a great job humanizing the prostitutes through Tom’s perspective. This is particularly moving in the discussion between Tom and the prostitutes on the topic of giving birth and the important role women play in life. The prostitutes are flattered and offer him a free pass with them. This act could be dismissed as awful and immoral, but in reality these women are presenting something to Tom that is the only thing of worth that they think they have. In this scene Tom is first perceived to be totally naive with respect to the purpose of a brothel, but in the end we discover the prostitutes exhibit a deeper naivete than Tom’s because they didn’t understand what love really was - something that should be special between two committed (married) people.

More could be said in praise of this movie, but I’ll let you check it out take from it what you will.

1 comment:

  1. I saw that you reviewed this and was like "Oh, I just watched this!" Then I remembered that I recommended it to you. It's true that the movie starts off on a strange foot, but once Tom comes along it's just a lot of Woody Allen fun.

    Here's another recommendation: Northfork. I love it. If anyone could appreciate it, it's you.