August 14, 2011

Midnight in Paris (2011)

Not sure what the target audience for this film is. The English lit name dropping would probably confuse the average rom-com goer, and the reductionist simplification of art history -turned plot device -turned character growth -turned emotional life lesson would be dismissed by the very people that would actually be familiar with all the literature lore. I can only assume Allen was trying to hit as many targets as possible, with at least *most* of the audience at least recognizing *some* of the figures. Personally I enjoyed the Buñuel bit where he is presented with the premise of a plot about dinner party guests that can’t leave the dinner party (the plot to Buñuel’s El ángel exterminador, which I adore). Adrien Brody is also excellent as a young Dalí, and in fact the whole surrealist scene was a gem as well. Plot-wise it’s tightly wrapped together, with the usual Allen signatures of relationship issues and hilarious overwritten dialogues, which is not necessarily a bad thing. If anything, the downside is Owen Wilson, which I had a hard time buying as the intellectual struggling writer that he attempts to be, but is quickly dismissed with a scene where he is talking to himself admitting he failed high-school English. Overall fun light comedy that straddles the line between intellectual literary masturbation, inside humour and dumbed down Hollywood fare. It barely makes it but it’s overall watchable. Certainly better than most of the dumb rom-com fare out there right now.