It took me ten to fifteen minutes into the movie to realize what Owen Wilson was doing subconsciously or deliberately, most likely deliberately. He was doing his best Woody Allen impersonation. You could see it bleed out of the writing onto the screen, sometimes it was subtle and sometimes it was blatant.
Midnight in Paris is a very well done movie that has excellent writing and good pace. I wish it was longer than 90 minutes but there wasn’t much farther the story could have gone, but the movie was too enjoyable for me to turn off the Blue Ray player after that short amount of time. The premise was different then just about any Woody Allen movie I could think of. Most of his films involve interesting plot lines in a seemingly normal family or character situation. They involve affairs (well Midnight in Paris has this but that’s beside the point), or murders, divorce, or becoming blind. This movie was based upon the outlandish idea of time travel mixed in with irregular plot lines that Woody always does so well with. His writing is always creatively and intelligently done. Midnight in Paris is no different. He brings up great viewpoints and ideas of how and why people look towards the past for a better life.
Time travel has always intrigued me, especially the array of different portals that Hollywood comes up with to present it. From a DeLorean, to a chair (the original time machine), to a phone booth, a remote control (really Adam Sandler?), and who could forget the hot tub time machine. Woody comes up with a much more simple way of time traveling by just getting in a car at midnight and driving (it didn’t even have to go 88 mph). This was just about the most charming way you could go back in time for just about the most charming movie of the year.
My only caution is that all the different characters that are introduced from the past are hard to keep up with and you’ll have to be well read to know all of them without having to run to Wikipedia. I’m sure me knowing who all the authors and artists were beforehand would have lead me to enjoy this movie even more but I still enjoyed the movie despite the discrepancy of knowledge, it’s nothing you can’t get past without distraction.
Woody Allen is greatness, he continues to produce well written entertaining movies. Midnight in Paris is the most critically acclaimed Woody Allen movie since Match Point. It is well worth the time to sit down and watch it and you won’t be telling yourself at the end of the movie “well that’s 90 minutes of my life I’ll never get back!” Oh Nicholas Cage if I could only end one of your movies without saying that.