‘Midnight in Paris’ (2011): One of the Woody Allen Movies

February 24, 2012 8 Comments

The title Midnight in Paris evokes all kinds of charm, doesn’t it? Alone these three words inspire all sorts of dreamy thoughts, when in reality, the movie really isn’t this. At first, this starts out with the right idea but unfortunately, I don’t think this movie had the right set-up to be truly great.

Midnight in Paris (2011) Film Review

Gil (Owen Wilson) is a tag-along on his future in-laws Paris business trip along with his beautiful and opinionated fiancée, Inez (Rachel McAdams). Being in Paris is all about wonderment for Gil. Unfortunately, his fiancée doesn’t share his opinion. A screenplay writer who wants his work to be deeper, he hopes this trip will help his writer’s block. While Inez spends nights out with friends, Gil instead takes a walk in the night air. Imagine his surprise when Paris at midnight turns into Paris in the roaring twenties – the era that Gil thinks of as the “golden age.”

‘Midnight in Paris’ (2011): One of the Woody Allen Movies. Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams co-star in this unusual fantasy film. Text © Rissi JC

Inspiration soon floods Gil’s senses. The world of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hemmingway, and Cole Porter sweeps him into their world, as well as Gertrude Stien (Kathy Bates). It isn’t until he meets the alluring Adriana (Marion Cotillard) that his life really changes.

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There’s usually a line between something that’s creative and then, unique. Part of me thinks this movie has both characteristics but another part of me has to admit that this Woody Allen movie is just odd. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate this movie. In fact, I laughed myself silly over some of the quirks but it lacks a lot. It is as if it didn’t finish “polishing” its story and as a result, the movie leaves a lot to be desired.

I’ve not seen any of Allen’s films save for one and while it’s cute enough, it leaves the viewer unsettled. For me, it’s for this reason this title is too peculiar to watch beyond once or twice. Some movies just don’t resonate with the viewer. (AS an aside, my blog friend Ruth saw Midnight in Paris and her conclusions are completely different than mine, so do check out her thoughts for a different perspective.)

One of the positives of this is the scenery. It’s really quite lovely and charming. It captures your eye and leaves us travel hopefuls excited to someday see these Parisian landmarks. Likewise the costuming is a small wonder. Anything that covers the Roaring 20s never did appeal but with BBC recently commissioning series and movies from this era, I have been asked to change my opinion or give up British period pieces altogether. Quite unexpectedly, I now love 1900s costume dramas (DuhDownton Abbey, anyone?). These costumes are just as lovely as anything else I’ve seen, although they don’t play a large role. Another thing I’m going to be picky about as regards this one is the acting.

Wilson always plays the bumbling idiot (sorry fans), and here he’s no different. He rambles on and never seems to stand up to Inez, who in an irritating manner just “shushes” him. Rachel is somehow still charming in the role (yes, I know, I do like her as an actress), but at the same time we never really grow fond of her, or anyone really. Allison Pill really shines in this movie but she is here for all of ten minutes. Part of my detachment to everyone may is perhaps because for nearly four minutes nary a word of dialogue is heard. That seems as good as any distinction to blame.

Watching Midnight in Paris isn’t a waste of my time, but will I ever see it again? Probably not, but it does have some good things to say. This includes a certain character finally making a choice. If we let it, the story can be a lesson that teaches us to live in the present, not the past because no matter how badly we may want to, we cannot change it. All we can do is live each new day to the best of our ability and strive to see those same mistakes don’t repeat themselves.

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You can find Midnight in Paris (2011) digitally on Amazon Video
CONTENT: there’s a few sexual innuendoes; one woman admits to having a brief fling, and another suggests in a diary she “made love” with someone who is not her “significant other.” References inform us that a woman has a history of living with her
boyfriends. Profanity is rare but not absent. Social drinking is prominent. The film is PG13.

About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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  • Ella February 24, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    I had heard of this movie,but I didn't really know what is was about.
    Thanks for the review.

  • Trinka February 24, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Hmmm…this sounds…weird… :P I'm not sure I would like it, because I don't usually like books {or movies, in this case} that has the main character going into the past..it just sort of annoys me! Haha, yeah, I'm weird :)

  • Rissi February 24, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    Ella – this one is a bit confusing. Hope this review told you what it was all about. =)

    Trinka – yep! That is a good way to put it. I did like the movie but am not likely to re-watch it anytime soon if ever.

    Depending on how it is done, I don't mind the hero/heroine going into the past but like I said, it has to be done "right." =D

  • Ruth February 25, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    I'm sorry this movie didn't quite work for you, but thanks for sharing your thoughts and linking to my review! This is one of my top films of 2011. :)

  • Trinka February 25, 2012 at 2:25 AM

    Okay, you have GOT to make a blog button, girl! Well either that or let ME make you one {again} Or you could design it and I could make the code if you want…
    Or, I can just totally disregard anything you say {such as if you tell me to stop being so annoying…} and make one then email you the code…your pick!

  • Rissi February 25, 2012 at 4:25 AM

    Ruth – yeah… me, too. =) I didn't feel like it was a waste of my time because I did like some parts of it, but it didn't end up being my thing. I should have known considering nothing of Allen's ever seems to appeal to me, still, I did want to really love it…

    Trinka – oh! Okay, I'll get a blog button up. ;D When I started blogging, I just never thought I was the type of blog that needed one, but if you really want to see one for Scribbles, Scripts and Such… I'll make one. ;D

    First, let's set one thing straight: you are NOT annoying. I love your feedback and thoughts, girl! =D

  • Charity February 27, 2012 at 5:17 AM

    Woody Allen movies always leave me unsatisfied, which is why there's no rush for me to see this one. I expect it will be the usual fare for the writer — dull, overlong, full of immoral characters, and uninspired.

  • Rissi February 27, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    That is actually a good way to sum this one up, Charity. "…overlong, full of immoral characters, and uninspired."

    I wasn't bored by the movie, but it didn't capture me so that I'm clammoring to see it again. The characters might not be as immoral as some… but on second thought, we do learn something about Inez near the end and Gil certainly thinks about cheating on his fiancee. I couldn't believe it actually WON some oscar(s) – my dad was like, "really!? they awarded it to that!?"

    Everyone is so different though, and there were a lot of people who liked this one. =)

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