Sunday, April 01, 2012

Jana's Guilty Pleasure - "Midnight in Paris"

"Midnight in Paris" is Woody Allen's love letter to Paris. For me it's total wish full-filling escapism. I can watch it over and over just to be in Paris during artistic Renaissance of the 20s and hang out with the visionary artists of the time. It is the story of Gil, a Hollywood screenwriter, (Owen Wilson in the Woody Allen role) who joins his fiancee (Rachel McAdams) and her family on a business trip to Paris. Being in the "City of Lights" rekindles his dream of living in Paris while he writes his novel. Unfortunately, his fiancee and her parents have more lucrative plans for him. In an effort to escape the ensuing conflict, Gil takes a midnight walk and ends up in 1920's Paris. This is a dream come true for the aspiring novelist as he mingles with great artists (Picasso!) and his literary idols including Hemingway himself! His heroes become his peers and even give him advice as he pursues the enchanting young model who eventually becomes his muse.

It is unusual for such a lite-weight romantic comedy to win an Oscar for Best Original screenplay. But, "Midnight in Paris," is highly original.  The action shifts effortlessly back and forth between two time periods. That takes real writing chops. At least Allen has placed his alter ego in a fresh new setting.  In fact, this is one of the most enjoyable Woody Allen films to come out in years.

Have you ever had the feeling that you were stepping back in time as you strolled down a narrow cobble stone street or visited the old haunts of a favorite writer? Then, "Midnight in Paris," should delight the romantic in you and maybe even inspire you to follow your true passion.

Movie Blessings!
Jana Segal

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