Few careers have had the sustained respect and consistency as the guy who seems like he lives next door, Woody Allen. Every now and then he makes a movie where you think, “there it is, he’s done” but then comes along a Match Point or in this years case, Midnight In Paris. Woody has a wit and center of creativity that just doesn’t seem to run out and hopefully never does. His diverse collection of films has spanned all kinds of audiences and his brand of comedy, while it’s a love it or hate it type, is no doubt respected. This was no doubt a can’t miss to add to his collection it, like his other films isn’t for everyone.
Midnight in Paris is one of the great fantasy stories that’s been told in recent years with Owen Wilson as the movies lead, Gil who is a nostalgic screenwriter who is unhappy in current profession and wants to write a long lasting great novel. His in love with the city of Paris, especially in the rain. While his fiancé, Inez tends to think lowly of Gil and wishes to lead a superficial life. One night after dinner and drinks with friends that aren’t really Gil’s style, he goes for a walk and while taking a rest on some steps is approached by a vehicle straight out of the 1920’s and some very happy party goers encourage him to get in and join them. Being a little drunk he agrees and soon discovers the party he attends has an impressive guest list whom include his writing heroes F. Scott Fitzgerald and his companion Zelda along with Ernest Hemingway who introduces himself by asking if he is a boxing fan, as Hemingway had a notorious tough guy attitude. Hemingway introduces Gil to the very famous American poet and writer, Gertrude Stein who agrees to take a look at Gil’s novel. Subsequently the night comes to an end and Gil is eager to introduce Inez to his “new” friends. Not realizing that it’s the midnight hour that his ride approaches to take him to his dream era, Inez grows impatient and leaves shortly before his is picked up. This is the night he meets lovely Adriana who is apparently the muse to a one Pablo Picasso. Slowly falling in love with Adriana. As the story continues, Gil begins to see the distance growing between him and Inez and wishes to stay in what he believes is the golden era. He eventually sees that even those in such a great period long to be in a different era and that they are nostalgic for other times. He comes to the realization that he is best off living in the moment.
While Owen Wilson is not known for his great acting ability, Woody is known for getting nothing but the best out of his actors by letting them breath and infuse themselves in the character. Wilson becomes the lovable Gil and we begin to want nothing but the best for him. We want him to follow his dreams and be great.
Allen has a beautiful script and story that is relatable to all on some level and with his uncanny ability to find the beauty in every city it makes even those who have never been to paris, long to be in the city of lights.
While no one will ever confuse Midnight In Paris with the iconic Annie Hall, which is the peak of romantic comedies and the opus in a long line of work for Woody Allen, this is no doubt one of his films that will live on and in 3 to 4 years you will be talking to someone at a party and without question someone will bring it up. You will then have laughter and smiles come over those that love it and will here the words, “You just gotta see it”.