Monday, June 13, 2011


Rated: PG-13

Stars: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Michael Sheen, Kathy Bates

Written and directed by Woody Allen

Genre: Romantic comedy

It's all about finding one's place.

Gil, (Owen Wilson) a Hollywood "hack" screenwriter who aspires to be a novelist, has come to Paris with his fiancee and her parents. The parents are on a business trip. His material girl, Inez, (Rachel McAdams) is all about shopping. Gil--an incurable romantic--has a fantasy about living in the City of Light during the golden age of the twenties, where he could rub elbows with the legendary artists and writers of the Lost Generation. He talks about chucking Hollywood and moving to Paris. Neither Inez--who thinks he's gone off the deep end-- nor her stuffy parents, understand him.

Gil ends up walking the streets alone at night, and at the stroke of midnight, a vintage Peugeot pulls up and he is ushered into the vehicle to join a group of revelers inside. In short order it becomes apparent that he has entered a time warp, as he in turn meets F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, and a host of other literary and artistic figures. He even gets the opportunity to have his novel-in-progress critiqued by Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates). Then there is Adriana, (Marion Cotillard) an alluring flapper who may be stealing his heart.

Midnight In Paris is peppered with Woody Allen's trademark philosophical musings about life and death, as it meanders through the winding streets of the city and of time--arriving at a small, yet comforting epiphany (if you've spent most of your life wondering why life isn't very satisfying) about why it's imperative for us to BE HERE NOW.

A charmingly quirky movie, Midnight In Paris is much like the Parisians themselves. They won't wear white tennis sneakers on the city streets, as if that were some kind of major fashion gaffe, but then, they don't mind if you bring your dog into the cafe and let him sit at the table with you while you dine.

Sometimes finding one's place is as much about finding one's place in time as it is anything else. Midnight In Paris is time well spent with a bunch of fascinating characters who spring to life from the pages of history.

Grade: B +