Now that Woody Allen has left New York, it seems he can’t commit to a city anymore. You can guess from the start that Paris is a new love for him, what with all the shot of the city that opens Midnight in Paris, culminating in Owen Wilson’s character, the guy Allen himself would have played 30/40 years ago, being introduced as the guy also in love with the city, while the shots don’t stop; we have Paris, and then Versailles, and just when that’s starting to get boring, the time-traveling starts and we get gorgeous period Paris. By the time we’re done we even get a shot into the Hall of Mirrors(mom speculated about how hard it must have been to get permission to film there.) Allen’s movies aren’t necessarily about cities-You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger wasn’t, but this one is. For the first twenty minutes or so, I pretty much ignored the plot of the movie and just ogled the shotmaking.
And the movie needs that, because it does start slow. Fun as it to knock tea partiers and such(except that someone of the would-be father-in-law’s position probably wouldn’t actually believe their bullshit; he’d just profit by it), the touristy scenes plod along, and Owen Wilson probably is not a keeper as Allen’s surrogate; he doesn’t have that wit ability. It’s not until Wilson heads for the 20s and all the historical figures start coming in that things get interesting as we have fun with the fantasy of a magical historical tour(Wilson’s best line concerns telling the French Chamber of Commerce about this), the script starts to dissect the perception and truth of history, followed by Wilson’s character, until finally it plays out almost as one would expect it to(you have to feel sorry for the poor detective, though).
The crowds for this one were enormous; even after arriving a little early mom and I were shoved up to the very front of the theater because all the better seats were taken, and we got home just as our neighbors were going out to see it! At least the audience will enjoy themselves.