I’ll Show You That French Joie De Vivre

I grew up never wanting to leave the state.  In college, as friends participated in study abroad programs and begged me to go along, I always thought, “meh, who cares.”Midnight in Paris

*face-palm, kicks self in ass*

Since I’ve hit my mid-to-late 20s, I’ve begun to long to travel to Europe, mainly England, but now that I’ve seen Woody Allen’s Oscar-nominated Midnight in Paris, just go ahead and add France to my lame Pinterest board of places I yearn to visit.

Midnight is a lovely slice of “Paris-porn”, if you will, a dreamy, charming little film, that of course has that distinct Woody Allen flavor I’ve noticed in all of his work.  This one isn’t my favorite though, Vicky Critina Barcelona has that title.  But, back to Paris


Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams are Gil and Inez, (names that do not suit them, but whatevs) an engaged couple who are in the city of light with Inez’s awful Tea Party parents, who are on a business trip.  Inez is a nagging shrew, interested only in shopping for her new life ($20,000 chairs, anyone?) and tagging along after an old professor of hers who’s also in town (the adorable, charming Michael Sheen, who, even though he’s playing a bit of a blowhard, has MARVELOUS chemistry with McAdams – it’s no wonder they’re now a couple in real lifesies).  Meanwhile, Gil (a “bored” Hollywood screenwriter, because, why not) has fallen in love with the city, and just wants to literally wander around in the rain.  Inez gets more and more fed up with his dreamy randomness, and their interactions become increasingly heated.  Things are further complicated when Gil discovers that each night at midnight, he can travel back in time to the 20s (his favorite decade) and meet his own personal heroes.

Time travel stories piss a lot of people off, what with their inconsistencies and inevitable plot holes.  They really don’t bother me because I refuse to delve too deeply into their intricacies, and here, there aren’t even any.  The midnight transformation is just a completely bizarre occurrence, that, for reasons beyond Gil’s comprehension, happens each night at the same time, on the same street.  There’s nothing to try to figure out because there’s really no explanation given, and within this framework, it works.  The Time Machine, this is not.

When Gil enters the roaring 20s he encounters F. Scott Fitzgerald (a darling Tom Hiddleston), his wife Zelda (an adorable Alison Pill), Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll, who looks so much more smoking hot in this film than in his IMDb picture), Salvador Dali (Adrian Brody), and several other historical figures.  Since Gil is enamored with the past, he frigging loves his midnight jaunts, and even though he tries to explain it to his frigid fiance, she obviously finds this information bordering on insane and it only fuels her ready-to-cheat fire of infidelity.  For Gil, the visits fuel his fire of writing, helping him to bang out the novel he’s been working on, and also showing him that no matter what year it is, somebody always thinks things were better in the past.

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I enjoyed this flick, it was warm, funny, and was lovely to look at.  The ending was satisfying, not as cloying as I assumed it would be, and everyone gives nice performances.  It’s typical Woody Allen, with an old-fashioned feel, that still manages to seem present and relevant.  The thing is, I don’t really feel like it deserves to be nominated for the best goddamn picture in all the land from 2011.  I just don’t get that.  Regardless, a nice little film, worth your time, but not your Oscar pick. 😉



2 thoughts on “I’ll Show You That French Joie De Vivre

  1. I’m glad you enjoyed it! I really loved it. It was just so charming and cute. But I agree, not best-picture worthy for me, either. Especially considering some other movies that got left out this year 😦
    Great review though!

  2. Pingback: Raving Road to the Oscars | ravingmadscientists

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