This was one of the movies I was really excited to see back in 2011. It never worked out for Stefan and I to go out to the theaters to see it, so I immediately put it on our netflix queue and it has stayed at spot #1 until it was finally out for viewing. Stefan is always always a bit skeptical of my movie choices, and especially the romantic comedy ones, but I'll let you in on a little secret...he actually likes about 90% of all the movies I choose. He has a worse track record with his own choices, and for that I give him my smug little face and continue on with my queue dominating (!).
This movie, though, perhaps...was a bit lost on him. Over a lifetime ago when I was in college, I was an English major near the top of my class, with a French minor. Never mind that my last semester I scraped by with 9 credit hours, a third trimester pregnancy, and a deathly fear of graduate students sharing my 300 level rooms which made me quit aforementioned minor right in the nick of time to save my--well, you know--from a C+ average and a fried phonetic brain. Thank goodness for elective choices equaling an existing and finished minor.
What I'm trying to get at is...you may not like this movie unless you have read (and know the authors well enough to guess them upon entrance in the movie) many of the famous authors of the 20s and 30s, and have seen, and read about many of the famous artists and schools of thought during that time, too. A love for all things Francophone doesn't hurt either.
Me = love. Stefan = whaa?
This story is a modern romance, only the romance is a man falling out of love with his fiance, and into love with a culture, and a long gone era. After midnight each night, the main character, Gil, would go for a walk around Paris, and a car from the 20s would pick him up. In this car would be a slew of famous artists, writers, and cultural savants from the Roaring 20s and their lovers. Gil receives inspiration from these meetings and is in the process of rewriting his novel as his relationship with his fiance, actress Rachel McAdams, spirals downward.
The cast was spot on, especially loved Adrien Brody as Dali, and it's quite a hopeful stretch of 90 minutes for Woody Allen, who wrote and directed. I also loved the music, which is exactly what you'd expect in a French movie; an accordion and jazzy bass and drums outside of the nearest bistro on a cobblestone street.
I would only recommend this movie to a hopeless romantic, someone who has read a lot of the famous novels out of that time (think The Great Gatsby and anything by Gertrude Stein) or has knowledge of those influential artists. I give it 4 out of 5 stars, and at just over an hour and a half, it's not a movie that you have to give up an entire night to (I start to get cranky around the 2 hour mark...). Paris, Je t'aime!