Tuesday, September 27, 2011

3 Short Paragraphs: Midnight in Paris

2011, Woody Allen -- cinema

When I was younger, I was one of those guys who felt out of touch with the era around him.  I wasn't sure when I should be but sometime.... past. And if you added my D&D addiction, I often ended up desiring life in a pseudo-medieval period.  Once I started to pay attention to what I would lose, such as toilet paper, Tylenol and socialized medicine, I dropped those fantasies.  Maybe a time machine visit but with an easy out. And that is what Owen Wilson's Gil is given -- a time machine style visit to the period (and people) he loves the most.

Gil is a screenwriter, but a romantic who loves the idea of walking around Paris in the rain to look at shops and taverns and architecture and people and .... atmosphere.  His fiance hates it all, seeing the city as just a place to say you've been and to buy some great antique deals.  I despised her.  Her every opinion set my teeth on edge. She wanted him to dump his dreams of the Great American Novel and stick with his lucrative screen writing gig. She couldn't imagine living anywhere but California, for any reason.  We won't talk about her parents. So, I was relieved and completely with Gil when he set off on his own walks and ends up in a car with Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, and then quickly mixed up with all their friends and fellow artisans.

At first you think this is about Gil realizing how much better he would be in Paris of the 20s, as he gets grand reviews of his novel and has a great time drinking with Hemingway and Dali.  But the movie does a lovely evolution as he begins to fall for one of Picasso's girlfriends, seeing in her the girl he knows he should be with, not Inez the annoying git. And as he he adds in her layer of love for the 1890s, he realizes his folly at living in the past, literally and figuratively.  You can have Paris in the rain, you can have wine and art and writing and music but you can find it now, as long as you are willing to accept it.  Lovely flick.