To be honest, this is probably the first Woody Allen film I’ve watched since he married his step daughter way back in the nineties. Call me old fashioned, but even though he’d made a couple decades of great movies, I just couldn’t keep putting money in his pocket. As Rosie O’Donnell (I think) joked at the time, this is only hip and sophisticated because it’s New York. Imagine him in Kentucky and you’d see it for what it was, creepy.
Then, I was at the library the other day and saw Midnight In Paris in the new selections. I was tempted to stop my boycott. After all, it was free! Several other people I asked who also still had mixed feelings about him said it hadn’t been a bad movie.
What did I think? Actually, it was pretty good. Allen did what he does best…mix fantasy with reality. Owen Wilson played an interesting mix of surfer dude and Woody Allen alter ego as the star. Okay. It sounds like I still hated it. Hmmm….Maybe I still hate Allen, but I do have to recommend the movie itself. (It did have Kathy Bates as Getrude Stein.)
The plot is pretty fun, especially if you have any taste for writers from the flapper era. The main character walks the streets of modern Paris in the evenings, meeting up with legendary (but dead) writers like Hemingway and Stein and artists like Man Ray and Picasso. Stein and Hemingway both critique his work. In the meantime, naturally, his wife decides he has a brain tumor for making up such bizarre stories.
It really is worth watching and unlike his famed black and white movie Manhattan, if life imitates art here, at least it’s not courting jail bait or incest.