Buzz has quietly been growing for Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen’s latest romantic comedy. Summer blockbusters don’t tend to appeal to me, so when my friend suggested we see a movie the other night, I chose Midnight in Paris.
The movie stars Owen Wilson as Gil, an American aspiring novelist in Paris with his spoiled fiance and her parents. He loves it; they do not. He pines for the artistic inspiration, the intellectual discussions, and the company of the “Golden Age” of 1920s Paris, when F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, and other writers and artists gathered. Little does he expect to actually join them.
If you aren’t familiar with the art and literature of this era, you won’t understand half of this movie. I caught a fair amount of the jokes and allusions, and my friend (an art history major) got even more. It’s not particularly accessible, but it is charming and romantic and funny and quirky. It’s a marvelous cast, with some truly scene stealing cameos by Adrian Brody, Allison Pill, and Carla Bruni (yes, Mrs. Sarkozy herself). The entire movie is gorgeous (it’s Paris, after all) and the costumes exquisite. In a lot of ways, it’s typical Woody Allen- lots of long shots, dialogue that is at times utterly natural and witty, and at times a bit clunky.
It’s far from a blockbuster film, but if all of the sequels and action flicks aren’t doing it for you, check out this one.