Finally, a time-traveling comedy without all of the technicalities.
"Midnight in Paris" is a subtle time-travelling comedy with a relatable message and wonderful performances by Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen, and Marion Cotillard. The story centers around the character Gil (Wilson), who is a successful screenwriter who. While visiting Paris with his fiancée Inez, he struggles to write a novel.
No matter how hard he tries to keep writing the story—based on a main character much like our protagonist who is obsessed with the past—he cannot help but talk about moving to the beautiful city much to his wife’s dismay. By day, he competes with Inez’s friend, Paul, in having intellectual debates about art and literature. By night, Gil discovers that he can escape it all when he gets inside a car that takes him to a party downtown that is being hosted by the very 1920s literary scholars that inspire him.
At midnight, Gil is thrust into the '20s without any special effects or teleportation devices; the act of traveling through time just happens. “Midnight in Paris” is a film that is both comedic and didactic. The film plays on the concept that life may have been simpler in earlier times. When times are difficult, it’s easiest to reflect on how simple times were in the generation before, but that’s not the truth. In each generation, everyone faces hardships and wishes they could go back to when they felt “times” were less demanding.
It would have been nice to see the 1920’s characters reacting more to Gil’s unusual demeanor, especially for those times. While it might have added a bit more comedy and continuity, too much emphasis on this detail may have taken away from the general flow of the film.
Jim’s Rating: 9.5/10