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>> Friday, June 24, 2011

It’s been a while since I walked into a movie without knowing too much about it. The last one that came close was Hobo With a Shotgun, and even then I still knew more about it than I did Midnight in Paris. All I knew was that this was a Woody Allen film starring Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams. The other thing I knew was that I really enjoyed Vicky Cristina Barcelona, so I figured I would enjoy this latest addition to Allen’s repertoire. I’ve never been happier to walk into a film knowing so little as I was walking out of Midnight in Paris.

The trailer (which I only saw post-film in preparation for this review) states that ‘Paris after midnight is magic’, but doesn’t prepare you for exactly what type of magic you’re about to experience. It’s interesting, it’s exotic, it’s nostalgic and it’s surprising. I’ll tell you this though, IMDb states Midnight in Paris is a romantic comedy – it’s anything but. If anything, it’s more of a mystery, which I loved and embraced.

As usual, I’ll keep this review spoiler free – although in this case it’s more difficult then you think. Already this may sound a little unlike your typical Allen film and it’s a whole hell of a lot more optimistic. Even the choice to use Wilson as the lead proclaims exactly what type of mood Allen was in when he wrote this flick. Don’t get me wrong though – you’ll still end up with enough typical Woody-isms to make the most modest Allen fans happy.

Upon knowing I was about to see this film, I invited two of my friends along. One was my friend Dave (with whom I ventured into Vicky Cristina with) and the other was his girlfriend Wendy (of the new blog A Girl Named Wendy). Dave didn’t dig this newest Allen instalment for a reason still unknown to me. To be fair, there were time restraints and lengthy discussions could not ensue to further validate his thoughts. From what I gathered though, Dave may have disliked the film for the same reason Wendy and I enjoyed Midnight in Paris. That reason is one based on the slight and purposeful cheesiness of the film. There are moments in the movie (including the ending) where things seem too convenient or perfect or obvious. I’ve always enjoyed subtlety as much as any film lover but here I felt it was neither here nor there. It didn’t affect the film and in some cases made it that much more charming – unrelatable as it may be for those of us like Dave, who are looking to identify with the characters a little more.

Midnight in Paris easily scores an open door. A major theme in this film is one based around nostalgia – more specifically the idea that a person can feel out of their element in the year they occupy and wish only for a time machine. I’m one of those people. I constantly wish for second chances or the opportunity to see myself shine in a different decade. This is another reason I enjoyed Midnight in Paris. It’s rare these days for me to leave a movie feeling as if I learnt something and here I truly did.

*Stills courtesy of Gravier Productions


Editing Luke June 27, 2011 at 10:13 PM  

This movie sounds interesting, but I have to admit you made me laugh out loud. Your line "I love subtlety as much as any film lover" might be true, but just knowing you and your love of horror movies - you are perhaps the least subtle person I know, haha. I look forward to seeing some movies with you this weekend.

Wendy June 28, 2011 at 6:37 PM  

Great review Tyler! 'Twas a great flick. Dave and I enjoyed seeing it with you. Also, thanks for the link to my blog :D

Angry Charlie June 29, 2011 at 7:03 PM  

Luke - likewise for the movies. And perhaps my lack of subtlety is really covering up for a super secrect subtle side of me! Wendy - you're very welcome and thank you, too! It was fun to see this with you guys and I look forward to many more! :-)

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