In this edition of jaen’s refrain you’ll find:
- Movie synopsis
- Movie Review
Written and directed by Woody Allen who breathes new life into a genre which as of late has become a bit of a yawn fest; that genre being, the Romantic Comedy. Gil, a successful screenwriter (played by Owen Wilson) who wants very much to try his hand at writing his first novel and Inez (played by Rachel McAdams), are supported by a large fantastic cast notably; Michael Sheen, Corey Stoll, Alison Pill, Kathy Bates & Marion Cotillard.
This film came at such a wonderful time for me, being that it’s just a few months after my return from Paris. It was my first time visiting Paris, so seeing the sites again in this film made me long to return there.
The film’s opening montage is dialogue free and lasts for what seems like 4 to 5 minutes of shot after shot of Paris in all her splendor. You see landmark after landmark and cafes to cobblestones underscored by a joyful jazz piece. Soon after this we’re introduced to Gil and Inez taking in the sites. Gil is thrilled about being in Paris and exclaims that he loves every nook and cranny of the city, the dirt, and most of all the history. You soon learn that all is not perfect in Gil and Inez’s relationship. Gil mentions to Inez that he would even love Paris in the rain; any city in the rain. Inez exclaims, “Why does every city have to be in the rain?” They’re in Paris, engaged to be married and should be in synch one would assume; but there are demands on their attentions, a competition really. Inez’s competition is Paris and Gil’s need to fulfill his passions. Gil’s competition is everything else in Inez’s life; her parents, conversations about how to furnish the soon to be married couple’s future house in Malibu and Inez’s handsome old friend from college named Paul (played by Michael Sheen), who is currently lecturing at The Sorbonne.
As the story continues, Gil with his easy going nature tries to spend time with Inez and her parents but longs to venture more into the city without the companionship of Inez’s college pal, Paul. One night Gil finally gets his wish when Inez once again, opts to be escorted by Paul to further see the Paris sites. Inez in a flip tone, invites Gil to join them but Gil bows out and chooses instead to take a leisurely stroll of Paris by night alone. It’s this magical walk that changes the course of Gil’s future. Gil meets some strangers and is whisked away to the kind of Paris he had only imagined; the kind of Paris that harkens to days gone by when conversations were lively and filled with mentions of poetry, prose, music, art, adventure and brimming over with the most interesting people who had strong opinions with the pedigrees and experiences to back them up. The women were lovely, yet exciting and full of moxey. The men were a mix of refinement, angst and swagger. As the evening continued, Gil felt artistically reinvigorated and more alive then ever. Unlike being with his fiance, it was at last refreshing to be surrounded by people who took a genuine interest in him and his passion for writing and the arts. As he left to return to his hotel, he was already anticipating a possible future rendevous with his new friends; and so he did see them again, night after night. His nightly visits excited, inspired and enlightened him. He couldn’t believe his fortune which was surreal yet very real!
Inez and Gil’s days and eventually nights, were spent in the company of others, so you can probably guess somewhat how this plot is going to end. The ending was the one thing that was very predictable but I didn’t care because it made me so blissfully happy!
Overall however, it was nice to be surprisingly swept away into a fantasy world of unpredictability; even though over the course of the movie the structure of the unpredictable became more predictable (did I just say that)? Nevertheless, I looked forward to every minute of it! “Midnight In Paris” was a feast of surprises. One might say, “A Moveable Feast!”
Kudos to Owen Wilson! Who knew….I have to say I watched him at first thinking of Owen the person and his real life drama; but thankfully I very quickly became absorbed in his character which he played so effortlessly and endearingly. I was for the first time quite charmed by him.
“Midnight In Paris” is enchanting, romantic and humorous with relatable characters. There is fine acting, wit, charm, whimsy, magic and hope. It has the power to perhaps make you ponder about what really makes you happy. If you were Gil, would you take the same chances? Would you remain in comfortable yet painful denial or would you move forward? Is the grass always greener and how bout watering your own lawn for a change! 😉
In theaters now! See it!!