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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Rath's Reviews: Midnight in Paris

Well here is a film where I clearly didnt fit in. Directed by Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris tells the tale of Gil, played innocently by Owen Wilson. Gil is in Paris with his finance and he loves the city, especially at night and in the rain. It's any artist's inspiration, something that his wife doesnt really understand. He likes to stroll around, and one night, at midnight, some pretty crazy stuff happens to Gil, and he continues this process every night. That's about all of the plot that I can give you without giving away a somewhat big reveal, but just know that it shocks you at first, but then you slowly grow to accept that that is what this movie is all about: art, the past, the "Golden Ages". Needless there were some references to past artists that I had no idea who they were, but then there is Hemingway and Picasso and Porter who you are able to relate with. But alas, I have said too much (the movie will make you all hoity toity too).

Honestly, there is not much to say about this movie. And I dont mean that in a bad way, its just that it is very simple. It tells it's story, teaches its lesson, and delivers some good scenes and strong acting along the way. I guess you could call it quaint or delightful?
"I saw you in Inception. What level are we in now?"

The cast is perfectly picked for starters. Owen Wilson is charming and simple in his role, Rachel McAdams actually makes me kind of hate her, something I didnt think was possible, but that is how we are supposed to feel toward her character anyway. Kathy Bates makes a frequent cameo being her usual "Molly Brown" self and Adrian Brody makes probably the funniest cameo of the movie. I was most surprised however by Marion Cotillard. Haven't heard of her? You're probably right, but I guarantee you have seen her (unless you live under a rock). She was Leo's wife in Inception. You know...the crazy one. Anyways, she is very cute in this movie, and makes herself come across as far more attractive than she ever did in Inception. She has a charm that seems to match Owen Wilson's and I liked their scenes together the most out of all of them.

The guy with the beard is a tool. I wanted to punch him in the teeth. 
The movie is classified as a "romantic comedy" which I say is somewhat of a false description. I think that only very artsy people are going to be bowling over in laughter (though the movie does poke fun at them too and all their endless, "I believe the artist is trying to capture blah blah blah"). That's where the movie kind of lost me somewhat. I felt like I should have been laughing, but it seemed like an inside joke that I wasn't clued in on. Maybe I am just not the right generation, but unless you are fairly familiar with 1920's artists living in Paris, I doubt you will be either. So its really not that funny. As far as the romance goes? I liked Wilson and Cotillard's romance, which becomes the central one of the plot, but it hardly drives the entirety of the movie. I would call this movie more of a romance with the city of Paris than anything else.

They kinda look alike now that I look at this picture
But the film has an undeniable charm with its silly Woody Allen story, wide angle shots of the city of Paris, and its plunge into different eras. I came out of the movie feeling pleasant, and I dare anyone else to feel differently.

Basically wait to rent this one for a good date night movie that will put you in a good mood. Sit down, have a glass or two of Le Vieux Moulin 2006 (twas a good year), place a vinyl of Cole Porter on, begin discussing about which cheeses sooth your palette the most, and pop in Midnight in Paris. Oh God, there I go again being all snot-nosed and arrogant again. Did you get the joke? No? Exactly my point. 

Pros:

  • Solid acting all around captures the essence of all the characters, specifically Owen Wilson and Marion Cotillard
  • A charming movie if I ever did see one
  • Funny at times. Sweet at times. Intriguing always
  • Great views of the city of Paris
  • Good lesson to be learned that nostalgia can be dangerous. It leads us to not appreciate the times we have right now
  • I enjoyed the path the film took and the "twist" if you want to call it that
Cons:

  • Felt like one big inside joke and I was on the outside :-(
  • In my opinion, not as funny as it thinks it is and not as romantic as it thinks it is
  • Left me feeling pleasant but also kind of stupid that I didnt know more about 1920's artistry

Rath's Review Score: 7.5/10

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