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Midnight in Paris

Many people only dream of meeting let alone befriending their idols. In Midnight In Paris, Woody Allen’s umpteenth feature film, that’s exactly what Gil Pender gets to do. A Hollywood hack striving for some artistic integrity, Gil and his fiancée Inez visit Paris while he is working on his first novel. Tired of life in the United States, yearning for culture, Gil proposes the idea of moving with Inez to Paris, only to be shot down, her claiming that she could, “Never live anywhere outside of the United States.” While in Paris, Gil and Inez run into old friends Paul and Carol. Paul is an ostentatious pseudo-intellectual, while his wife is even worse, pretending like she knows who Monet even is, when in actuality she’s got a hard time differentiating down from up. Fed up with the surrounding phoniness in his life, and more so a yearn for adventure, Gil takes a midnight stroll through Paris in search of something. Anything. There he encounters a 1920’s automobile with some eccentric characters, begging him to join them. Those people lead him to meet F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein, and countless other literary and artistic icons. It’s through these adventures in the past that Gil learns the true meaning of love, and finds a way to perfect his comme il faut novel, into something of beauty.

Midnight In Paris is set in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and it definitely reflects on the film. Every frame is gorgeous, with colors invading the screen, leaving the viewer nothing but mesmerized for its 88 minute running time. All the authors and artists are played to perfection, especially a hilarious cameo by Adrien Brody as Salvador Dali, but at the same time, only an English literature major would truly understand all the jokes and subtleties that are offered throughout the picture. With that being said, the script itself is as witty and hilarious as could be, and you can tell that Allen was at the top of his game during the writing process. Owen Wilson is surprisingly satisfying as Gil, and Rachel McAdams is a revelation, being that this is the only film on Earth that makes her the one thing that seemed impossible, and that is undesirable. As beautiful and charming as Ms. McAdams is in real life, she really knew how to off-put the audience in this film and she did it extremely well. All the other players are cast perfectly, and that, combined with the wonderful story telling, make Midnight In Paris one of the must-see films of the Summer. But please, do a little research on the authors involved before viewing. I was somewhat blind-sided by the massive amounts of literature that I’d never even heard of before.

Without giving away the ending, I’ll say that Midnight In Paris is about the golden age. The golden age is an extremely interesting term, because it’s forever changing like fashion or trends, except it’s not about looking forward, it’s about going back. That’s the question that Midnight In Paris poses. What is your golden age? Have you found it yet? And what will you do when you finally find what you’re looking for?
Grade: B+





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