Are you are a fan of literature? Are you an English major? If the answer to any of those questions is a yes, then you have found your film. Some ignorant buffoon said on my twitter feed, "is it wrong that I think anyone who hated Midnight in Paris is uneducated?". The answer to that person is yes. I happen to know a decent amount on literature, but certainly not enough to call my self well versed on this topic. I understood everyone that was mentioned in the film. I certainly would not say, "Hey Joe, over there. You don't know who F. Scott Fitzgerald is? You are so uneducated." The truth is people are educated in different fields. I happen to be good at history and film. I wouldn't tell a doctor he's uneducated because he lacks an understanding of history. Make no mistake about it though this is not a historical piece on Hemingway or Fitzgerald. There use can only be described similarly to that of Teddy Roosevelt in "Night at the Museum". The story just adds depth to those who are familiar with the characters, whereas, Roosevelt is just added mainly for comedy. Because of these characters there's a good chance that you may not enjoy this film. Relax, that does not mean you are uneducated. Now that that's off my chest, let's get to the review.
Have you ever wanted to meet your idols? Gil (Wilson) is a screen writer living in Los Angeles with his fiance, Inez (McAdams). They are on some sort of vacation with Inez's parents in Paris. Gil hopes to turn his script writing career into the hopes of becoming a novelist. One day he decides to go for a walk alone when an old automobile picks him up. He happens to meet the Fitzgeralds, F. Scott and Zelda. He's thrown down in the era he loves, the 1920s. Gil is the kind of person that hates the time period that he lives in and would like to live in the 20s, with of course some of his heroes. He eventually would meet Earnest Hemingway and other notable people from that era.
Is this reality or is he imagining it? The film does not say. We are left to come up with our own assumption on what the case may be. One would have to assume that this revelation for him was a reality as a detective gets put into another time period himself. But still, a logical and valid case can be made that it was all in Gil's subconscious.
The performance hinges entirely on Owen Wilson. If Owen Wilson delivered a flat, boring performance than this film would not have reached its objective. Instead, Wilson delivers. His on screen charm and likeness really drive his character home. Rachel McAdams, although not on the screen long enough, plays a good part. What's lost in this film, with the exception of course when she is on the screen, is Kathy Bates. She seems to get lost in a lot of recent films I've seen her in, but yet always turns in the best performance. Many of the actors playing historical pictures are as I would envision them. Woody Allen's imagination in in this film is something refreshing and entertaining.
Great Film: B+
Enjoyable Film: B+