Midnight in Paris
Bottom Line: If only every other romantic comedy were as hilarious, spectacular, honest as this…
Directed by: Woody Allen
Starring: Adrien Brody, Kathy Bates, Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams
In this Woody Allen rom-com, Gil Pender (Owen Wilson), a successful screenwriter struggling with his first novel, and Inez (Rachel McAdams), his fiancée, are on her parents’ business trip in Paris, France. After immediately falling in love with the city, Gil dreams of marrying Inez in Paris and staying there, but she disagrees. One night, Inez goes out to dance with her friends, and Gil takes a walk. At midnight, an old car picks him up and takes him to one of his greatest fantasies: meeting the writers, artists, and musicians he idolizes. Finding inspiration for his debut novel, Gil decides to take a walk every midnight. Not only does this cause him to gain more ideas for his book, he also begins to fall in love more with Paris and less with his fiancée.
Although MIDNIGHT IN PARIS is, at times, slightly offbeat, it needs recognition in a sense that more romantic comedies should be like this. In fact, if the majority of romantic comedies were as satisfying as this film, the cinematic world would be strangely different. If Allen’s 1977 rom-com ANNIE HALL could pick up the Best Picture Oscar (particularly over STAR WARS), his most recent film should easily be capable of holding at least a nomination for Best Picture; and that’s speaking highly for one of the genres that is least nominated at the Oscars.
The soundtrack was most likely the most compensating film. The main theme, a fast acoustic guitar riff set to the rhythm of a jazz waltz, is at first nerve-wracking, but as the film escalates, it begins to add beauty to the appropriate scenes, and the tune, per se, is beautiful. Since the film mostly revolves around appreciation of the 1920s era, other appropriate blues and jazz tunes are added in the soundtrack, most memorably Cole Porter’s 1928 piece, “Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love)”.
To say the very least, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS is by far one of the best films made in 2011. It takes a certain knowledge and appreciation of Woody Allen to understand the poetic humor put on display, but one who can appreciate that different type of humor will surely find this to be more than just an enjoyable romantic comedy. One who has that sense of humor will understand how utterly hilarious this truly is.