Friday, August 31, 2012

Midnight in Paris

Woody Allen’s latest comedy Midnight in Paris is a charming time-travel story set in the City of Light.

Owen Wilson plays Gil, a self-described “hack” screenwriter churning out lackluster but profitable Hollywood movies. He’s in love with Paris, traveling there with his fiancĂ© and hoping to experience some of the city’s famed magic. Taking a break from his pessimistic, California-loving girlfriend, he strolls down a Parisian side street one evening.

At just the right place and just the right time—the stroke of midnight—a vintage automobile rounds the bend, stops and the door opens. Into the car goes Gil and he’s spirited away from the 21st century into 1920s Paris. He encounters all the celebrated American expatriates of the time: he bar hops with F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, chats with Hemingway, hears Cole Porter perform sing, meets the moody Pablo Picasso and visits the salon of Gertrude Stein. An aspiring novelist, Gil is in heaven.

When he returns to present-day Paris, Gil convinces his cynical girlfriend to return to the magical spot and make the trip back in time to meet his new, very famous friends. Alas, the magic fails to occur. It resumes in full glory the next evening at midnight when Gil returns alone to the designated spot. In this 1920s time warp Gil meets a beautiful flapper muse who considers the true magical era of Paris to be the Belle Epoque of 20 years before. Lo and behold, Gil and his time-travel girlfriend zoom back two decades to a Paris bistro in 1900 where they meet Toulouse Lautrec, Paul Gauguin and Edgar Degas. Through these trips across the continuum of time, Gil realizes he should be living life in the “now,” not longing for an idealized notion of the past.

For more of Woody Allen’s unique whimsy, check the Virginia Beach Public Library catalog for Zelig. Take a cinematic tour of this beautiful city with Paris, I Love You.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

oooh, I look forward to seeing this one. Thank you for such an excellent review!