Movie Review: Midnight in Paris

Every so often, you watch a movie where you realize early on that you’re watching a perfect film for you. A movie that you’re going to enjoy and remember for the rest of your life. I don’t mean to talk a movie up to much, but this is something that’s happened to me on a couple of occasions. For me, it’s the equivalent of watching a perfect game pitched in baseball. You just get that sense of rightness–that the movie isn’t going to let you down at all.

Naturally, this isn’t always the end result. There have been movies that started out so well, only to go so wrong somewhere in between. Other movies mess up the ending, leaving you with a bitter aftertaste, despite how great the rest of the movie was. Yet others finish strong, but didn’t manage to pull off the beginning just right.

Midnight in Paris was a perfect movie–for me. I’m not saying that everyone will think it’s perfect, but Woody Allen couldn’t have created a better film if he’d sat down with me and I listed off everything I like about cinema. It helps, of course, that I tend to really like Woody Allen movies. Bullets over Broadway, Purple Rose of Cairo, Vicky Cristina Barcelona–all fantastic movies, right up my alley. Yes, he’s made some stinkers, but I’m always up for an Allen movie, because they’re always at least worth discussing.

For those of you who don’t know, Midnight in Paris is about an aspiring author who idolizes the writers of the 20s–Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Eliot. He and his not-quite-in-love-with-him fiance take a trip to Paris. He loves it. She? Not so much. He loves it even more when he discovers a way to travel back in time to the 20s each night–to bump elbows with his idols.

I don’t want to say much more than that. This is one of those movies that work both as Film (with a capital F) and entertainment. It’s got a theme that weaves well with the plot, and it’s all very well executed.

The movie is gorgeous to watch–Bluray had it shining. Allen departs from his traditional old-music-with-credits opening to instead insert a long montage of various scenes of modern day Paris. It really helps set the tone for the movie. If you don’t want to visit Paris at the end of this film, you don’t have a soul.

Why else was it perfect for me? Because it pushed multiple buttons at once: I also love the authors of the 20s. I’m a writer. I’ve been to Paris and loved it. It’s quirky in the same kind of quirky I like. The message resonated with me. (The only thing off? The main character likes walking in the rain, and I–for those who know me-loathe getting wet.)

I really can’t recommend this movie enough. If you have a chance to watch this, do so. Four stars out of four.

Anyone seen it? What did you think?

4 Comments

  • By D, March 9, 2012 @ 7:34 pm

    Added to Netflix list.

  • By firecracker, March 10, 2012 @ 6:37 am

    I liked the film, but I guess I don’t have a soul.

  • By Bryce Moore, March 10, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

    It’s good to find these things out, Firecracker. The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. :-)

  • By Dad, March 11, 2012 @ 4:52 am

    Laurie and I loved this movie, too. I was surprised at how well Owen Wilson worked in the part. Really fun movie!

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