Midnight in Paris (2011)

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Midnight in Paris is a great entry in Woody Allen's series of films that embody the spirit of a specific town. This film feels both typically Woody Allen and typically Parisian romantic comedy at first, but gives a twist and becomes enticing. As with most of Allen's work, this film heavily deals with the ups and downs of a modern romance, but our lead, played by Owen Wilson, gets an unexpected yet matter-of-fact journey to the 1920s to work out his creative and romantic insecurities with a plethora of great artists, writers, and thinkers.

The screenplay is filled with smart dialogue and subtle jokes, and contains a tight storyline that beautifully illustrates themes of passion and inspiration in art and love. One of the most entertaining things about this film is watching many of today's beloved actors play different eccentric 1920s personalities. However, because there are so many quick encounters, the story often feels busy and chaotic. I found myself wanting to spend more time with some of these extraordinary characters.

Owen Wilson embodies the spirit of Woody Allen himself, and though occasionally charming, Wilson somehow manages to be more irritating to watch. Rachel McAdams's acting falls short of the legacy left by a long list of strong female leads in Woody Allen's films. She often misses that perfect timing and natural delivery necessary to carry off the brilliance of a Woody Allen muse. The rest of the supporting cast makes up for what Wilson and McAdams lack, however. Michael Sheen plays wonderfully pretentious, Marion Cotillard is just lovely as usual, and Cory Stoll plays a dashing and stoically comedic Ernest Hemingway.