Mike and I had the pleasure of seeing Woody Allen's latest film "Midnight in Paris" at the local independent theater. We'd heard great reviews and are both fans of Woody's work, but were a bit skeptical about Owen Wilson starring in a Woody Allen film. Turns out, he was perfectly cast in this delightful romantic comedy.
Set in France, the story follows a young engaged couple on their trip to Paris. Wilson plays Gil, a hopeless romantic who absolutely loves Paris, especially in the rain, and Innes, spoiled and yearning to return home to Los Angeles, is portrayed by a blonde Rachel McAdams. Innes is constantly belittling her fiance for his plans to write a great novel and his idealistic look at life, while Gil tags along seemingly oblivious to his soon-to-be-wife's disdain.
One evening when the two go their separate ways after a wine tasting, Gil to wander the streets of Paris in search of their hotel, and Innes off to go dancing with a pretentious couple she knew from college, Gil discovers a whole new side of Paris after midnight. As Gil falls further under the city's magical spell, he grows increasingly distant from the materialistic, spoiled, and unimaginative Innes. I won't elaborate much beyond this in the hopes that readers will go see the movie and be delighted by what happens next for Gil. But I will give you this little tidbit: moviegoers can definitely benefit by brushing up on their knowledge of 1920's literary figures for this one!
I haven't seen too many of Allen's more recent films so watching a Woody Allen movie without Woody himself as lead actor is still a bit of a shock to me. But Wilson was a surprisingly good stand-in as the slightly neurotic, bumbling, and overly nostalgic Gil. It was easy to find traces of Allen in this movie but I found it to be almost more widely appealing as a romantic comedy than some of Woody's films tend to be.
If you get the chance, I highly recommend catching "Midnight in Paris" at your local indie theater! It's a great improvement over the standard date night romantic comedy and I can't think of a better word to sum the whole film up than delightful!