We watched “Midnight in Paris” last night. It was lovely! As surprising as this may sound, I’m not a person who likes unexplained events, and usually something like the time travel that main character Gill Pender (played by Owen Wilson) experiences would drive me crazy. In this case, though, they didn’t try to explain it, or even dwell on its bizarreness, so I was able to sit back and enjoy without over-analyzing!
Here’s a quick précis for those of you who haven’t seen it: Pender, a successful but unhappy screenwriter from Hollywood, is in Paris with his highly irritating fiancée and her parents. While struggling to write and become the novelist he always dreamed of, he gets transported back to Paris of the 1920s, an era that he has always idealized. There he encounters a number of famous artists, writers, and musicians, including Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Pablo Picasso, and Salvador Dalí. These midnight adventures help him to sort out his confusion in his relationship and inspire him to become the writer he’s always wanted to be. I won’t spoil the rest of it for you!
While watching, however, I felt a bit indignant. An innermost fantasy of mine had been plagiarized! You see, I too have always wanted to live in Paris of the ’20s. I planned it out years ago. I’d live in a tiny attic with a futon on the floor, a writing desk under the only window that looks out over the roofs and spires, limitless Moleskine notebooks and black fountain pens as my tools. I would live off baguettes and Brie, washed down with red wine, and wander the streets for inspiration when I wasn’t writing madly. If I ran out of francs to pay for my food, I’d dust off my violin and sit on a street corner, case open at my feet, serenading the passersby till I could buy my supper.
Alas, this fantasy offers no place for the children and husband I so dearly love, so I wouldn’t trade my current life for it, even if it were possible! But “Midnight in Paris” illustrated a world so clearly imagined in my own mind that I was astonished. Perhaps my dream is actually a common one! What a strange thought.
I do recommend this movie for anyone who loves literature and/or Paris! Has anyone else seen it? What do you think?