Monday, June 13, 2011

Midnight In Paris

The Flick: Midnight In Paris

The Peeps: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Mimi Kennedy, Michael Sheen, Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody, Marion Cottillard, etc.

The Dealio: A family plus their daughter's fiancee pop over to Paris for a mix of biz and vacay. Wilson plays the Woody-Allenesque Gil, a seriously blocked writer, and tag along fiance, who is madly, passionately in love...with Paree. McAdam's Inez, the other half of this couple, is not so sure. But she admits to being thrilled to encounter ex-love interest and current obnoxious authority on, well, everything (Just ask him. He would be happy to set you straight). After a series of painful and annoying tours, narrated by Sheen's know-it-all Paul, Gil decides to take a breather, and wander through the streets, savoring the ambiance of long-gone eras. That's when the idea of seeing Paris through very different eyes takes shape. Just at midnight, Gil is approached by a luxe, vintage car and encouraged by the occupants to hop aboard. What follows next is an unpredictably personal encounter with luminaries of Paris in the Roaring '20's, a time when Gil feels Paris was the center of the creative universe. Imagine being able to pass your manuscript to Gertrude Stein, or Papa Hemingway for critiquing. Then, imagine trying to explain yourself to your present-day fiancee, a hard-headed- and hard-hearted- thoroughly modern woman of the 21st century. (Pause here to picture Allen fumbling through a series of misadventures and explaining them to a jaundiced, disbelieving Keaton).

The Grading Session: 4.88 pengies out of 5. This is a lovely return to Allen's comedic storytelling, updated with newer box-office candy in the form of Wilson, McAdams and their band of co-conspirators. This is a precise, and yet, intensely poetic homage to a city, to creativity and to inspiration, wherever it is to be found. Welcome back, Woody.

Lessons Learned: Everyone has a dream of the ideal setting in which to make the most of themselves and their dreams. And everyone else is absolutely sure that they alone have captured the identity of that perfect time and place. And absolutely sure that you are terribly, wretchedly mistaken. What is your perfect time and place?

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