Movie Review – By Matt Muccia
A simple script with one fantastical idea. Time travel. Travel to a place and point in time where you’ve always imagined you belong. This is my favorite story that Woody Allen has told. Like most of his stories I identify with the protagonist. Im not sure I like admitting this, but it’s what happens time after time.
Our main character Gil, played by Owen Wilson, finds himself in Paris alongside his fiance and her family. Their lack of chemistry is apparent as you see that they do not agree on many things. Gil wants to live in Paris and to get caught in the rain, while his “Fiance” (Rachel McAdams) wants him to maintain their lavish Malibu lifestyle, by continuing to be a successful Hollywood screenwriter. Scenes with her parents and their narrowly conservative attitudes solidifies our knowledge of her upbringing and you know this “one” will not last.
Coincidentally, the “Fiance’s” pseudo intellectual, ex-teacher, Paul (Michael Sheen) happens to be in Paris at the same time. When dancing is suggested by the Art Historian, Gill balks at the idea and decides to walk home. Meanwhile the “Fiance” refuses to let Gil drag her down and “tags” along with the Art Historian and his Girlfriend.
So Gil gets lost, drunk in Paris.
He’s sitting on a random set of stairs, right at the moment the clock strikes midnight and everything suddenly changes.
Gil is back in the 1920’s or is this just the alcohol talking?
A 20s style buggy floats up the street towards him and Gil is beckoned by Drunk Frenchmen to join them. Pushed by the wine he finds himself entering a Parisian party. He is introduced to Zelda Fitzgerald. Which of course was/is the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Gil continues the night and to meet his idol…Ernest Hemingway.
Gil himself is trying to write his first novel and insists that Hemingway introduce him to the very woman that he himself shows his work to, Gertrude Stein. They visit her and she is talking with Pablo Picasso. It is here that Gil meets “The Mistress” of Picasso and he falls hard for her.
Here is where everything is turned upside down… again. Gil and the Mistress travel to her favorite time period…The Renaissance.
If you are a Fan of Woody’s or not this film is sure to please. Without the nihilism, but with his signature style Woody delivers his most enjoyable story yet. Go see it and walk out enjoying the present like never before.