Midnight in Paris Review: Woody Allen Strikes Back

Woody Allen is an iconic name in Hollywood. He has been directing, writing and even starring in movies since the 1950’s, and is still prolific today. Many think that the modern day Woody Allen pales in comparison to his older work, however. His newest, Midnight in Paris, not only proves that Woody Allen isn’t out of the game yet, but shows that he’s still holding some of his best cards.

Owen Wilson plays Gil, a Hollywood screenwriter who is desperate to break into writing novels. He is on a vacation in Paris with his fianc√© (Rachel McAdams) and her parents (Kurt Fuller and Mimi Kennedy). From the beginning, it is obvious Gil is unhappy in his relationship. Through unexplained circumstances, Gil travels back in time to Paris in the 1920’s. There, he meets various famous writers and artists played by beloved actors.

Having knowledge of classic literature and art is a must to fully appreciate Midnight in Paris. Ernest Hemmingway (Corey Stoll), F. Scott Fitzgerald (Tom Hiddleston) Salvador Dali (Adrien Body) and many more grace the screen with clever reference humor throughout. With time travel, it’s easy to fall into the kooky, fish out of water comedy. Midnight in Paris avoids that for a much more intelligent humor, as Woody Allen is known to do.

Instead, we’re introduced to a time travel romantic comedy. Owen Wilson as the modern day writer and Marion Cotillard as an adorable 1920’s French woman ended up being the perfect pair. Their story, despite the sci-fi, is realistic and meaningful. There’s also a deep message that typical romantic comedies don’t usually grasp.

Yes, Midnight in Paris is a little bit corny and predictable, but it’s also one the smartest, loving and funniest romantic comedies in quite some time. It has a perfect mixture of wit and charm to brighten any night. It doesn’t follow the typical formula and doesn’t cater to a wide audience, and that makes it all the better. Woody Allen isn’t old news anymore.

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