Midnight in Paris – A review

This is the best movie I’ve seen since Drive.

Midnight in Paris is the most recent Woody Allen comedy.  Ever since he stopped acting in his own movies, I’ve started to enjoy Woody Allen movies much more.  It may appear that as a romantic comedy this isn’t really my thing, but I’m like an ogre.  I have layers.

The movie is also a bit of a time-traveling sci-fi thingy.  It has clever dialogue.  It shows a lively and exciting Paris.

Owen Wilson plays Gil Pander.  He is vacationing in Paris with his fiance Inez played by Rachel McAdams.  The visit is a mix of pleasure and vexation.  They are there with Inez’s parents who rub Gil wrong.  They hang out with Paul and Carol.  Paul is described in the movie as pendantic, but in earthier language, he is a complete ass.  Most troubling is that Inez just doesn’t appreciate the same things about Paris that Gil does.

And Gil loves Paris.  He is a Hollywood screenwriter who is working on his first novel.  The mystique of Paris, especially the ex-pat writers who prowled the left bank in the 1920s enrapture him completely.  That is when he begins to time travel.  Each midnight he is transported back to the 1920s where he meets his idols.

The movie is funny.  Consistently funny.  And smart, but not too smart.  It assumes you know who Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald are plus Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein, Pablo Picasso and other luminaries of the 1920s in Paris.  Missing a few of the references and inside jokes probably won’t ruin the movie, but it would probably be frustrating is you don’t get a little thrill when Gil meets Cole Porter or Salvador Dali.

Ernest Hemingway, played by Corey Stoll, is particularly hilarious.

If the description appeals to you at all – run out and see this movie.  It is worth it.

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