Friday, June 17, 2011
Friday tip #2
As much as we enjoyed Super 8 last Saturday (see my previous post), I started craving a movie that perhaps wasn't so adventure and special effects oriented. So my wife Alison accepted my idea of indulging ourselves with a second movie last weekend, so we headed out of the quiet suburbs into downtown Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon to catch Woody Allen's latest film, Midnight in Paris.
Funny, whimsical, and moving, Midnight in Paris turned out to be the great adult treat I thought it would be. Alison even liked it, and she's not exactly the biggest Woody Allen fan in the world, usually just seeing his movies because I like them. But we both got caught up in this tale of an American writer in Paris (Owen Wilson) being transported each night at the stroke of midnight to the Paris of the 1920's, where he pretty much meets up with every major literary and artistic figure- Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Salvatore Dali, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, to name a few- who was hanging around the City of Lights during that period.
Do deep, introspective scenes result from Owen's character, Gil Prender, meeting all these artistic geniuses? Nah, Woody mainly keeps things light and funny, an approach that mostly works just fine. While the movie could have benefitted from a little more complexity with its plot and characters, it was always a lot of fun to watch Gil make excuses each night to break away from his increasingly shrill fiancee and her stuffy parents to return to that stylish earlier time, to eat, drink and cavort with his idols.
There's no big, original lesson Woody is trying to impart with his story, just a few small truths that we all sometimes forget. But even those were secondary to the simple joys of spending time in both present-day and 1920's Paris, both quite beautiful, and both more than ample reason to see this engaging, charming movie.