MIDNIGHT IN PARIS (2011)

TMG Scale 8.5
Starring Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen, Kurt Fuller, Kathy Bates

It was much better than I expected. Fun. Thought provoking. Lots of messages. Woody Allen doing what he does best— seducing and provoking our current perceptions of life and living with humor and romance.

This film should do also some good for the Paris tourism business. It really shows the beauty and romance side of Paris.  TMG has never been to gay Pari but am well advised by my wife (the richer side of my family who has been there several times) that until movies develop “smellovision,” the experience on film is yet to be quite authentic.  I am advised that Paris is a bit more crowded and noisey than this film might lead you to expect. It’s a Hollywood romantic comedy though—I get it.

Gil Bender (Wilson) and his fiancé Inez (McAdams…..who is named Inez these days???)   spend a week in Paris with Inez’ rich parents. Gil is a semi-successful Hollywood screenwriter trying to bust out his first novel. Gil is also a bit of a hapless romantic.  They run into a snobby and boorish couple, Paul and Carol,  from back home who offer to show them around Paris. Gil can’t tolerate Paul (and no one should) so he opts for late night walks around town. Psychologically, metaphysically, spiritually and quite physically, Gil is transformed back to Paris in the 1920’s…while Inez cheats on him with Paul and her Mom shops. It works for everyone

Gil encounters Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, T.S. Elliot  and all his romantic hero writers. He falls for a woman who, in turn,  romanticizes back to the 1880’s in Paris. They trip further back after midnight.  So many of us long for the past—a time we see as simpler and more golden than present day. When we really engage people at the heart level, many of us realize materialism is not what we are about.  Is another life different from our present reality really better? How do we really live life to its fullest?  shopping for overpriced furniture or sipping wine and falling in love?  This film just worked for me. We long for love, romance and excitement…things you can find after midnight in Paris perhaps.

Someday a film might be made about me….and the film will begin at a old theatre in south Kansas City “This is where Art the Movie Guy watched his films.” Hey, dreams are what life is made of.

 

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