Monday, June 20, 2011

Phil sees MIDNIGHT IN PARIS at the Camera 7 Pruneyard-June 19, 2011

The third and final film I saw on Sunday was just amazing. Simply amazing. Again, like SUPER 8, the trailer for the film never revealed as to what the plot was about. Upon sitting down in the theater and when the lights dimmed, I was transplanted to another place, and believe it or not, another time. Yes my friends, Woody Allen's latest film MIDNIGHT IN PARIS is one of my new favorite films by this gifted director.

The film follows Hollywood screenwriter and frustrated author Gil Prender (Owen Wilson) and his fiancee Inez (Rachel McAdams) as they travel around Paris with her parents John and Helen (Kurt Fuller and Mimi Kennedy). Both Gil and Inez run into two of her friends Paul and Carol (Michael Sheen and Nina Arianda) and Gil is soon forced to hang out with them, much to his dismay. After leaving a party, Gil wonders through the streets of Paris, admiring the charm of the City of Lights. Of course it doesn't help that he drank to much and is completely lost. But help does arrive, and he is whisked away and taken to a lavish party where he meets the greatest artists of all time. He also becomes smitten with the lovely Adriana (portrayed by the exquisite Marion Cotillard). Soon Gil finds himself, as he puts it so eloquently, "I'm in a very perplexed situation." I dare not expose what the film is about, but I will tell you this: This film is full of laughter, surprises, and love.

Writer/director Allen has been on a rollercoaster ride of a comeback recently. Since the 2005 release of MATCH POINT, Allen has been working nonstop. He has made six films since 2005, one per year. With this film, I feel that Allen has made his best romantic comedy since 1977's ANNIE HALL. What has made Allen hit his second wind? What has been his muse for the past six years?

The answer to that question, in my humble opinion, is scenery. For most of his career, New York was the backdrop for a majority of his films. From MANHATTAN to HANNA AND HER SISTERS to RADIO DAYS, New York was his inspiration. But you can only tell so many stories about good 'ol NY that eventually, the stories begin to sound the same. Enter London in the year 2005. With the release of MATCH POINT, both critics and fans were surprised and welcomed back their friend. Also having the breathtaking Scarlett Johansson in the film didn't hurt either. Soon Allen was back and making films at an astounding rate. Now we are privileged to view his love letter to the City of Lights. The hopeless romantic in Allen radiates in every frame of the film. The first two and a half minutes of the film is a montage of the elegance, beauty, and charm of Paris. As we travel with Gil, we relate to him. Being a writer, falling in love with the city, finding inspiration, and also finding love and your true self.

MIDNIGHT IN PARIS is the romantic comedy film of the year, and Allen's best film this millennium. The film was a complete surprise, and I relished in its originality. I can honestly say that this is a must see date movie. So I say this to all you lovely couples out there, go see this film, and get ready to fall in love with Paris. It truly is the most romantic city in the world!

MIDNIGHT IN PARIS is now playing in theaters nationwide, including at the Camera Cinemas here in San Jose. To view showtimes, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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