Hope you had a great weekend, having survived both the onslaught of Pirates of The Caribbean and the non-slaught of the Rapture. Even though everyone got to skip one of those cataclysmic events, millions of people happily partook of the other. In fact, the Pirates’ haul was over $90 million. That’s a massive opening – nor was it surprising (what is surprising, and marvelous, is the fact that Bridesmaids keeps going strong, beating out Thor and landing in the weekend’s #2 spot. Plus they did this the old-fashioned way: by awesome word of mouth.) But what if you’d already seen and loved Bridesmaids and you decided to opt out of the Arrrgggghhstravaganza that was Pirates (so you could watch after the noise dies down) and instead attended the other movie that opened Friday? What if you just randomly saw Woody Allen’s latest movie and you had zero preconceived notions about it? Honestly. Not a clue. That’s precisely what I did and I’m here to tell you that Midnight in Paris is just delightful, pure fun. Goofy fun too, because Owen Wilson stars.
If you’re looking to absolutely and positively forget where you are for two hours and perhaps even get lost in an entirely different world – go see Midnight in Paris. In fact, if you can help it do not read any of the reviews – trust me here – because the reviews will spoil the whole thing and you will be far happier when pleasantly surprised. Plus – in addition to Wilson, we have Rachel McAdams, Oscar-winners Marion Cotillard, Kathy Bates, and Adrien Brody, and a whole slew of funny actors. The whole thing’s a treat.
A side note: I grew up in suburban Philadelphia and while my parents weren’t Pilgrims or Puritans, let’s just say we didn’t watch a lot of Woody Allen movies. I’d never seen a single one of them. Woody Allen was considered extremely sophisticated and he represented New York City. Despite the fact that within a matter of years I would soon call Manhattan home (and still do), his New York somehow felt foreign, racy and intellectual; the world he conjured up was filled with smoky jazzy lounges and bars and beautiful women cavorting with men who weren’t necessarily their husbands. Men who – according to my mother – had seemingly unlimited amounts of time to comment on/complain about/stew over those women directly to a) the camera or b) their therapists. When I did finally fly the coop, I watched every Woody Allen flick I could get my hands on; they were beyond eye-opening and the candy store doors were blown wide open at that point. I’d never seen so many people talk so much and be so funny while doing it. Nor had I ever seen anyone mumble eloquently before. I was hooked. Even if several of them seemed indistinguishable from one another – no matter - it was great to familiarize oneself with that type of heretofore alien genius. However, it seemed I’d only just become a fan when the guy became a tabloid sensation who’d gone and made a mess of his personal life. Okay, so this happens, except that it was inescapable and his movies seemed to reflect that certain rough patch. Soon enough Woody Allen movies – while stilled riddled with marquis A-List casts – became not so impressive to me. I stopped paying attention. Then along comes this weekend, and I didn’t want to brave the hordes at Pirates…
Sometimes, you have to be out of options at the multiplex with little or no idea about a once hyper-respectable filmmaker’s latest offering staring you in the face. With nothing to lose and popcorn in hand.
Turns out? Midnight in Paris couldn’t be more escapist or fun. All you have to know is that Owen Wilson is a Hollywood writer obsessed with Paris, who winds up there with his fiancée (McAdams) and her family. One night he wanders off on his own and, well, you’ll just have to go see it to find out what happens next. At once transforming and nostalgic, this is a ride you’ll want to take.
1) Annie Hall
2) Bullets Over Broadway
3) Hannah and Her Sisters
4) Vicky Christina Barcelona