Saturday, April 7, 2012

Kinda Watched Movie Review: Midnight in Paris

So, here is a new, randomly occurring feature on the MeridethSays blog, the "Sort of Watched" Review.

Often, my husband and/or child will choose a movie or show that doesn't really appeal to me, but they want me to "stay!" and watch it with them. Typically, I work on something else crochet or read while they partake of their chosen entertainment, and only watch with half an eye.

The latest movie I sort of watched was Midnight in Paris.

A short summary: Gil, a dissatisfied American writer travels back to 1920's Paris, meets his literary idols, and falls in love.

I was ambivalent about this movie from the start. Why? Well, first off, Woody Allen. I don't get his appeal. I don't think his stammering, nebbishy heroes are appealing. I sort of want to slap him (or his movie stand in) every time they start with the rambling. Also, Hemingway. Hemingway is a sexist jerk. And, Owen Wilson. He just bugs me.

However -- this movie might have well as been subtitled "American Literature Crack". My husband, who has a degree in American Lit, has been wanting to see it forever. The DVD was in at the library, so, I was a good wife.

My opinion from kind of watching it?  It was O.K. If I had been giving it my full attention, I probably would have lost it at the characterization of Zelda Fitzgerald (jealous of her husband's talent). Also, the manic pixie dream girl played by Marion Cotilliard would have rankled. But with half an eye, these things didn't bug me too much. Paris is a beautiful city, the jazz soundtrack is nice, the costumes were pretty and Kathy Bates is awesome as Gertrude Stein.

What did bother me was the relationship between Wilson and his American fiance, Inez (played by Rachel McAdams). These are two people who obviously can't stand each other, so why are they engaged? I get that Gil is a doormat, and people have a hard time ending things, but seriously? They got to engaged without noticing they have nothing in common and really don't like each other?

I could go on, noting that every character but Gil is a caricature or a stereotype. But, I'm not that invested.

Overall, I would say the movie is sentimental and does exactly what you expect it to do. If you like Woody Allen, you'll like this.

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