Since a return trip to Paris is not in my immediate future, here is how I am getting my "fix." Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris is the little film that could. After an extended engagement at the Broadway in downtown Salt Lake City, it is now playing exclusively at the Tower theater. This film has a Dec. 20 DVD release date, so put a trip to Paris on your calendar for Christmas break...I am hoping my visit to Paris without a passport will be under my Christmas tree, and can't wait to see this movie again.
Set in modern Paris, the main character, aspiring writer Gil (Owen Wilson) is on a midnight stroll when he is magically transported to the era in Paris he considers to be the very best. He interacts with Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, and Salvador Dali (Adrian Brody) and other famed characters and American ex-pats. Hemingway is a cad, Dali is odd, Picasso is a presence, and this movie has lots of scenery, art jokes, and fun along the way. Gil moves back and forth between the world of his fiancee in Paris, and the world he enters on his midnight strolls. This movie is very entertaining, and made me wish more than anything to visit Paris again.
Gil and his fiance visit Versailles with an insufferable know-it-all friend who is laughable in how many things he gets wrong. Gil is put off by this companion, but his fiancee is enamored with him. It was wonderful seeing the scenery of Versailles. I am glad I had the opportunity to travel there when I was in France.
Gardens at Versailles
Filled with wonderful characters and great scenery, this film portrays a "grass is always greener" mentality. Gil meets a young woman in Paris-past, who does not appreciate her own time, and longs for an even earlier version of the City of Lights, complete with Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec. Are you unsatisfied with the time you live in? Have you always wanted to visit another era? As much as he loves visiting the past, Gil must face his present and make crucial decisions about his love life and career. With an engaging story, likeable characters, and Paris scenery, this movie is a great escape.
Watching "Midnight in Paris" was like re-visiting this wonderful city.
Notre Dame in 2008
I loved seeing many places I had visited show up in this movie. It made me long for the corner crepe stands and walks along the Seine. I missed the little boulangerie around the corner from our hotel where we purchased pain au chocolat for breakfast.
A bridge across the Seine
If you are like me and can't get back to Paris right away, take a chance on "Midnight in Paris." The more you know about art, the more jokes you get, but this movie is fun whether or not you are an art history aficionado. And if you DO get to go to Paris in the near future, have a lemon-sugar crepe for me!