‘Midnight in Paris’ is a movie I never expected myself to like, for one thing it stars the permanently depressed but upbeat Owen Wilson. Also, the trailer for the film made it out to be some annoying romantic comedy about rich people in Paris who are depressed but really have no reason to be. Which isn’t hard to believe coming from Woody Allen, it seems that those are the only kinds of romantic comedies he directs these days. Which is fine, because like I said earlier, how does one compare an aging veteran of film, to an up and coming visionary of cinema? Regardless, the movie was nothing of the sort, and well, I don’t really want to give anything away, because I don’t want to spoil the fun, but the actual plot of the movie is not only original but actually deeply personal, and something I feel like we can all relate to in a way, the idea of living in the past, and never being really satisfied with what you’ve got.
Owen Wilson, delivers a surprisingly good performance in this film, although as I’ve already expressed, he pretty much just plays Owen Wilson throughout the whole movie, that sort of earnest interest in the things people have to say, and an intense positivity radiating out of every sentence he gives, even within mostly depressing scenes. But whatever, when it works it works and here it very well seems to work. The supporting cast is where the movie really shines, Rachel McAdams plays Wilsons fiancé, and she for the most part plays the role fairly well. Her parents provide comic relief throughout the film and also in a way are sort of antagonists as well, but only in a minor way. There really are no antagonists in the film; it’s mostly just about Owen Wilson on a journey of self-discovery whilst wondering the streets of Paris at night.
The movie is filmed as if it were an ad to move to Paris, although the interesting thing about it is, although it captures the obvious beauty of the city of love, it also captures the modern day dirtiness that you never really tend to see with these postcard films, which is something that I admire. Woody Allen has always been a director who knew how the capture the essence of a city, and although he falls short of that here, I feel like it’s one of the best foreign interpretations of the city I’ve seen in my life. The music is also very nice, and very fitting for the plot; although there’s definitely a lot of that hijinks music playing throughout, it’s mostly kept to the background. If you don’t know what music I’m, talking about, watch any romantic comedy movie from the past ten years, skip to any scene where some sort of hijinks is ensuing and return…
You’re back? Good. Just in time for a summary. The film is not ground-breaking, in fact it is far from it, and it’s not even trying to be. The movie states its self at the resolution that the lesson learned is only a minor one, but a lesson none the less. The movie is one that is rife with fairly obvious symbolism, but I feel like that’s fine for a movie as original as this, it’s a message to all of the people who have been criticising Woody Allen for his recent work, the days of ‘Annie Hall’ are long and dead, it’s time to stop living in the past and find something you enjoy about the present, because before too long it’ll be gone.
Rating: Go Watch It
Midnight In Paris is rated PG for mild sexual references