A Charming Getaway: Midnight in Paris

My husband and I don’t get out to the movie theater often.  With the sky-high price of tickets and the exorbitantly overpriced concessions, we don’t mind as much waiting for the films to come to cable (which is a splurge, too!).  So when we found ourselves flipping through channels the other night, a recent Woody Allen film caught our attention.  Out came the popcorn; we dimmed the lights and settled into our twin recliner sofa to be transported and entertained, and we weren’t disappointed.

Midnight in Paris (2011) is a light, romantic comedy about Gil (Owen Wilson), a young Hollywood screenwriter who dreams of becoming a novelist.  When Gil comes to Paris with his fiancée (Rachel McAdams) and her parents, he falls in love with the City of Light and imagines himself settling there and leaving Hollywood behind, to live the life of a writer.  When his dream is met with criticism and discouragement from his fiancée, her family and friends, Gil discovers acceptance and support from an unlikely, source: 1920s Paris (the era Gil idealizes) comes alive for Gil at the stroke of midnight, and the famous writers and artists of that time emerge to meet and embrace him.  The result is a magical, transforming (if unexplainable) experience for Gil, guiding his thoughts, emotions, and life decisions.

If you like the idea of time travel (as I do), romantic notions of Paris, past and present, French accents and music, and a charming 94 minute escape, you’ll enjoy Midnight in Paris.  It’s a simple plot – nothing heavy about it.  The all-star cast is fun to watch; Marion Cotillard, as always, is captivating.  And the vibrant colors and French locations are exhilarating.  If you want a quick getaway that will make you feel good, check out Midnight in Paris.

Another favorite “French” romantic comedy I’d like to recommend is French Kiss (1995).  Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline are hilariously engaging, making this film a fun escape as well!

6 thoughts on “A Charming Getaway: Midnight in Paris

    • Hmmm…I’ll have to think about my favorite. I can remember at least one I saw in recent years that I was pretty disappointed with. This one was really sweet. 😉

  1. I adore this movie. Woody Allen wittingly evoked nostalgia starting with the cinematography. I just think that Owen Wilson was a miscast vs. the supposed literary passion of the male lead in the story. 🙂

    • Interesting that you say that! I got the impression that Owen Wilson was cast to play a younger (more handsome) version of Woody Allen’s usual neurotic depiction of himself that he has played before in his films.

      Actually, while Owen’s character isn’t neurotic, he is definitely the quiet underdog who everyone seems to think they can push over – it’s like he’s invisible. (And what would he have been doing with that woman he was engaged to in the first place??) While I would have liked to have seen him get worked up and react more to the other characters, I really liked that their opinions and actions ultimately didn’t matter, and that he was able to choose what he wanted for himself.

  2. Excellent point as well. I’ve read somewhere that the original character was supposed to be from the East Coast, a playwright from New York but Woody Allen came across the possibility of hiring Owen Wilson who did not fit the initial character. Wood Allen then changed it to a screenplay writer from California which suited the chosen lead better. Nevertheless, the screenplay remained impeccable. 🙂

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