A typical Woody Allen stand-in protagonist, played by Owen Wilson, goes on an especially fantastic adventure in Midnight in Paris, which I rewatched this week for the first time since it came out.
While visiting Paris with his fiancée (Rachel McAdams) and her family, Wilson goes out alone at night and repeatedly finds himself in the 1920s, which he imagines to be the city’s golden age. The people he meets are, almost to a person, super-duper famous and played by famous actors from our time. The surprises of who’s next are fun for first-time viewers, but on this viewing, I was less enchanted.
We’re told that Wilson loves the past and hates the present, but his feelings about the latter are badly communicated, lacking the specificity that defines Allen’s best work. Our hero never seems to have much of an issue with actual Parisians or the way they live their lives; the story would be stronger if Wilson spent more time with non-famous people in both past and present. Nevertheless, this quick, oddball film has enough great moments that I still recommend it.