Movies I Shouldn’t Have Watched: Midnight In Paris
Posted by That One Guy
It’s been my opinion for a while now that you either love Woody Allen and the “films” he puts out or you don’t. I fall into the latter category. If you love Woody Allen flicks then this movie is for you. Watch it and bathe in the glory that is Allen. That being said, Woody fans should also stop reading this review. It could get ugly from here on out.
I can see the pitch meeting/ lunch for this movie perfectly.
“So I got this new idea for a movie.”
“Oh yeah? Hit me with it, Woody.”
“Get this. Paris in the 20’s. I’m talking about F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hemmingway, Eliot, Picasso. All of ‘em. Oh, and there’s Owen Wilson.”
“What’s Owen doing?”
“Yeah, that’s the best part. See, he walks around Paris until Midnight and he’s transported back in time somehow and meets all these writers who are his idols.”
“He just hangs out with them.”
“That’s it? Where’s the story?”
“Did you miss the part about Paris in the 20’s?”
“No. I heard it. But there needs to be something more to it…something more substantial than just a bunch of cameos from dead artists.”
“It does? Well o.k…He’s walking. You know, trying to escape an overbearing fiancé or write a book or something. We can write that in later. But the coolest part is Paris in the 20’s.”
The executive thinks for a while. Mulls it over a good glass of whiskey. Then he says, “You have your green light, Gatsby.”
I’m not saying this movie was weak with paper thin story lines, or anything…no wait, that’s exactly what I’m saying.
The fact that MIP has gotten as much acclaim as it has goes to show the state of ruin that the entertainment industry is in. I’m serious. The movie was paper thin. The story is unabashedly cliché. And character development is nonexistent.
Owen Wilson plays a bumbling and somewhat stupid script writer who is unwholesomely obsessed with Paris in the 20’s. He’s so obsessed, in fact, that he doesn’t even see that his fiancé is cheating on him. Even though it’s painfully obvious to the audience and other characters and not subtly handled at all. When confronted, Owen’s character, Gil (who is suspiciously very Woody-ish), defends his cuckoldry by proclaiming, “It’s called denial.” No. It’s called poor writing.
It’s sad really, because the movie had such potential. Being a writer, one of my favorite types of movies are movies about writers. The concept behind MIP is actually very cool and the legendary writers and artists that thrived during that period continue to inspire us today. Unfortunately, the legendary characters were exactly that: characters. Cardboard cutouts would’ve been more relatable and had more depth to them than the poorly crafted writers and artists in MIP. I’m sure Fitzgerald and Hemmingway are rolling over in their graves for the affront.
All in all, I give the movie a “Wake Me When It’s Over”.