Movie Review: Midnight In Paris

Posted: May 24, 2011 in movie reviews
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Not Woody Allen’s best work. Though he was able to set the mood and stir up feelings of nostalgia within the audience, all of the characters felt one dimensional and stereotypical. I walked out of the theater thinking, I don’t get it.

Midnight In Paris

Starring: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Kathy Bates

Premise:  Gil (Owen Wilson) and Inez (a miscast Rachel McAdams) are vacationing in Paris, but they slowly come to realize they are very different. Inez, who knows what she wants, and likes stability and reliability, refuses to be adventurous or spontaneous in the wonderfully foreign city. So, Gil, her fiancée, who’s suddenly quit his day job to pursue what he really wants to do, finds himself walking the streets at midnight, and right into the 1920’s.

My Review: admit it, this movie got me. The trailers are terribly misleading and I did not expect the movie to turn into a period movie. It was a pleasant surprise. Gil was right; Paris in the 1920’s is beautiful. Woody Allen was able to bring out all the nostalgic qualities of Paris, even if you’ve never been there. He made the city and the dueling time periods their own characters in the movie. It was classy and it makes me want to go back to Paris, poste haste.

This movie was also funny. Well, funny might not be the right word. It was…amusing. Amusing, and I have no idea why. Maybe it was the well-known actors playing slightly crazy, classic literary artists (Tom Hiddelston and Alison Pill as Mr. and Mrs, Hemingway, Kathy Bates as Gert, Adrien Brody as Salvador, etc). Or maybe it was the neurotic babblings of Owen Wilson morphed with the babbling rants of Woody Allen’s psyche. However, many people in the theater were laughing all throughout the movie, at really random parts. I felt like someone was telling a crowded group of people a bunch of jokes, and I was the only one that didn’t get it. But, I guess that’s Woody Allen for ya.

And though the characters were amusing, they were just that – characters. There was no one to root for, no one’s side to take. All of the characters felt one dimensional and stereotypical. In general, I am not a big Owen Wilson fan. He tends to play one and only character – you know the guy who talks too much. It’s exhausting. Rachel McAdams, who I usually find delightful, was unfortunately given the most horrible character ever. Woody Allen did not give Inez one redeeming quality. She was wretched, so much so, you wonder why Gil was ever with her in the first place. The other characters, while they did a fantastic job at setting the scene, that’s pretty much all they did.

Overall, this movie was just okay. I understand the message I was supposed to take away from this, and I felt the things I was supposed to feel. But I like more from my movies, Woody. And he’s had plenty of movies that were much better, Midnight in Paris was nothing special, IMHO. Maybe if I watched the movie on mute, I would have liked it better.

Rating: 2 ½ stars

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