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TOP 100 REVIEWERon November 20, 2011
A charming, sweet film, that explores the nature of nostalgia (its glow
and its darker shadows), and shows off Paris, both modern day, and in
the 1920s, almost as beautifully as Manhattan showed off New York.

Laced with wonderful cameo and supporting performances (Adrien Brody,
Kathy Bates, Marion Cotillard, Corey Stoll, just to name a few) and
gifted by a quirky, lovably sad Owen Wilson as a sort of Eyeore of a
struggling writer in the lead.

Wilson is probably the best stand in yet for Allen in one of his films,
precisely because he's so different from Allen, and doesn't seem to be
doing an Allen impersonation. (Even Allen admitted that part of the
appeal in casting Wilson was casting someone so far from himself).

The 94 minutes of the film flew by, and never lost it's charm.

A number of professional critics noted that this was a new tone for
Allen, neither laugh out loud comedy, nor serious drama (or, as in his
greatest films a combination of the two), but is more of a light drama,
with a gentle comic whimsy. I actually think Allen started exploring
this interesting new tone with his last film 'You Will Meet a Tall Dark
Stranger' And it does seem to have reinvigorated him.

I did have a couple of problems with the film. First, Rachel McAdams as
Wilson's fiancé, along with her family, were made too caraciturish, too
obviously 'bad' for a film this subtle. McAdams is a brilliant actress,
but here she seems pushed into being a symbol of all that's wrong with
shallow, materialistic Americans.

More problematically, after gently, subtly exploring it's themes for
the whole film, Allen suddenly starts laying them on very thick at the
end, putting them very literally into the dialogue, almost as if he
doesn't trust us to be smart enough to get the point of the whole
lovely film he just showed us.

But these are minor complaints, and while this may not be one of
Allen's great films, it is a very good one, and that makes it special
and worth seeking out.
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WARNING: I GIVE YOU HEAVY CLUES/HINTS ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS AT MIDNIGHT WHICH TAKES PLACE EARLY IN THE FILM. I DO NOT CONSIDER THIS TO BE A "SPOILER" BUT OTHERS MIGHT.

The film opens with a lengthy jazz tune while showing us the splendor, romance, and fantasy of Paris to set the mood. Owen Wilson plays Gil, a role Woody Allen wrote for his alter-ego. He is a Hollywood hack writer wanting nothing more than to be a struggling novelist living in Paris in the 1920's. He is engaged to Inez (Rachel McAdams). Like Woody's other main characters, he recognizes when people are pretentious and pseudo-intellectuals such as Inez's friends. This is a running theme in his productions either in front of or behind the camera. Hint: If you couldn't understand why Allen is a genius from his other films, feel free to skip this one.

Gil desires to move to Paris. Inez is somewhat Republican and can't imagine living anywhere but the USA. One evening the two couples are out. Three of them want to go dancing while Gil does not. Instead he opts to take a nice leisurely stroll back to the hotel. Unfortunately he didn't drop any bread crumbs and like too many Americans in Paris he doesn't speak French so he can't ask for directions. (If you have ever been to Paris you know all those French can speak English, but won't because they enjoy watching us struggle with their language.)

Then at midnight...Allen creates a whole movie around one of his old stand up comedy bits come to be known as "The Lost Generation" [...] which goes like this:

"I mentioned before that I was in Europe. It's not the first time that I was in Europe, I was in Europe many years ago with Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway had just written his first novel, and Gertrude Stein and I read it, and we said that is was a good novel, but not a great one, and that it needed some work, but it could be a fine book. And we laughed over it. Hemingway punched me in the mouth.

"That winter Picasso lived on the Rue d'Barque, and he had just painted a picture of a naked dental hygenist in the middle of the Gobi Desert. Gertrude Stein said it was a good picture, but not a great one, and I said it could be a fine picture. We laughed over it and Hemingway punched me in the mouth.

"Francis Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald came home from their wild new years eve party. It was April. Scott had just written Great Expectations, and Gertrude Stein and I read it, and we said it was a good book, but there was no need to have written it, 'cause Charles Dickens had already written it. We laughed over it, and Hemingway punched me in the mouth.

"That winter we went to Spain to see Manolete fight, and he was... looked to be eighteen, and Gertrude Stein said no, he was nineteen, but that he only looked eighteen, and I said sometimes a boy of eighteen will look nineteen, whereas other times a nineteen year old can easily look eighteen. That's the way it is with a true Spaniard. We laughed over that and Gertrude Stein punched me in the mouth."

Light, funny, entertaining...a romantic comedy by a stretch of the definition.
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on January 2, 2012
Fantastic movie for art-lovers, well-acted, casted, and an excellent story.

I couldn't see anyone apart from Owen Wilson in this role. It's good to finally see him in a good film again.
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on January 1, 2012
Gave me a boost for a few weeks! Inspiring, uplifting type of movie for me as a music lover. It's my favorite of Woody, not fatalist or near crazy, simply imaginative, positive, light hearted and flavorish.. Allen seems to be happier than ever, as the main character played by actor Owen Wilson conveys us to the love for life, for the simple moment in the rain.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon November 20, 2011
A charming, sweet film, that explores the nature of nostalgia (its glow
and its darker shadows), and shows off Paris, both modern day, and in
the 1920s, almost as beautifully as Manhattan showed off New York.

Laced with wonderful cameo and supporting performances (Adrien Brody,
Kathy Bates, Marion Cotillard, Corey Stoll, just to name a few) and
gifted by a quirky, lovably sad Owen Wilson as a sort of Eyeore of a
struggling writer in the lead.

Wilson is probably the best stand in yet for Allen in one of his films,
precisely because he's so different from Allen, and doesn't seem to be
doing an Allen impersonation. (Even Allen admitted that part of the
appeal in casting Wilson was casting someone so far from himself).

The 94 minutes of the film flew by, and never lost it's charm.

A number of professional critics noted that this was a new tone for
Allen, neither laugh out loud comedy, nor serious drama (or, as in his
greatest films a combination of the two), but is more of a light drama,
with a gentle comic whimsy. I actually think Allen started exploring
this interesting new tone with his last film 'You Will Meet a Tall Dark
Stranger' And it does seem to have reinvigorated him.

I did have a couple of problems with the film. First, Rachel McAdams as
Wilson's fiancé, along with her family, were made too caraciturish, too
obviously 'bad' for a film this subtle. McAdams is a brilliant actress,
but here she seems pushed into being a symbol of all that's wrong with
shallow, materialistic Americans.

More problematically, after gently, subtly exploring it's themes for
the whole film, Allen suddenly starts laying them on very thick at the
end, putting them very literally into the dialogue, almost as if he
doesn't trust us to be smart enough to get the point of the whole
lovely film he just showed us.

But these are minor complaints, and while this may not be one of
Allen's great films, it is a very good one, and that makes it special
and worth seeking out.
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on December 1, 2012
If you love Paris then this is a great movie to watch, but apart from that, a great fantasy. I loved everything about it. The acting is wonderful and Owen Wilson does a great job of being Woody..... highly recommend this movie.
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on September 30, 2013
I've watched this movie twice, and loved it. Having read quite a few of Hemingway's and Fitzgerald's books, as well as their biographies (Zelda's as well) I found it interesting to see them and a few other twenties characters mixed into this somewhat quirky tale. I liked Owen Wilson's character, and I liked the way the story played out. But one of the most important stars of this movie was Paris itself! I love this charming and beautiful city, and it was well portrayed here.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon October 20, 2015
Mr. Allen delivers an incredibly fun incursion in the Paris of the 21st, early 20th and even late 19th centuries, as he addresses our eternal preoccupation with the past and our longing for another time. Owen Wilson plays to a T the role that Allen would have played earlier in this kind of film as a young writer, concerned with the futility of his work, desiring to become an author and drawn to the Paris of the 1920s. This nostalgia has strong repercussions for his present as well, as it gradually changes from an escape from the present, to a means of dealing and coping with the present with some amount of courage and resolution. Throughout, an incredible cast of characters and actors make different appearances and the whole story is just a lot of fun to follow. Of course, a Woody Allen film is always wrapped in incredible photography and wonderful jazz. One feels the pleasure that Mr. Allen must have had in making this film. The end of the story falls a bit flat and takes on a bit of a moralizing tone, surprising from someone like Allen. I think I would have appreciated if, instead of saying that we are nostalgic and that we must simply deal with it, that the question that lies underneath the nostalgia be asked: What do we really long for? But really, this is a minor concern. This is a great story and a tribute to Mr. Allen's imagination and thought about our current time.
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on May 17, 2013
Here we have Woody Allen who has been a force in world cinema for so long and who's work is so well known that the audience(and who hasnt seen one of woody's films..or more..Guilty pleasures)..and he's one of my favourites why else view him..or the film. The bonus has the director appear and saying he wanted to make a film in Paris and looked for material..in other films at the denouement he has his characters love in France..like characters not realizing for whatever earthly reason they werent able to experience love at home..here we have the theme of the golden age..it recalls an old poem "the earth's great age begins anew her winter skin..."..a new political era thats what we think in this political age when we look to politics to improve our lives in all ways..here the golden land of france the land that framed the american ethos liberte equalite fraternite..forming a land of love..here we have a protype of ahollywood screenwriter(woody would have played the part himself in previous years)..the enveloping character who plays a part..the hint are his alter ego Hemingway and Fitzgerald..and the fitzgerald soon disappears and we have Hemingway for company..the screenwriter/hackwriter hoping at midnight like in the cinderella tale some love will
change his world like the stars at midnight pointing the way to new horizons love..that has eclipsed him in so many ways..and there are various scenes and vignettes..love la prochaine fois perhaps..a few common reviewers noted they had to view it twice..and there is much here..it was a popular film since the director has changed in ways and critics have noted this and here we do the not have the usualsuffering person..like the novel CHristmas Holiday..a vacation in France and raindrops on his head is the last scenes in the film...but you must view it and audiences liked this film..perhaps they like Woody away from home and holding mirrors this way and that about this character or that..here we have aperson searching for love..there's no kissing or hugging which is strange emotions about..I enjoyed the film and though some critics faulted the screenplay as being less resilient than his other films..its back to the terrain of PLay it Again SAm and these ideas and emotions of love are what the writer from hollywood and Hemingway(journalist turned writer)..found lacking in his world..or else why bother to search the fact that he searches..maybe thats the point of the story but who knows..
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on June 20, 2012
When I first watched this movie, I felt like Woody Allen had made it just for me. I am obsessed with Paris and the Roaring 20's, so watching this earnest, geeky writer get magically transported to that time and place was exciting and dream-like!

Gil is a writer from Cali, slightly disillusioned about his work, and clearly ill-matched with his fiancee Inez, a shallow and moronic trophy-wife type. But then he climbs in a mysterious car, and Paris works its magic! Suddenly finding himself in the 1920's "Lost Generation"'s scene, he meets not only his literary heroes Fitzgerald and Hemingway, but also the lovely Adrianna...

The theme of the movie is nostalgia, and how one cannot live only in the past, but must also fully appreciate their present. But really, it's Allen's love letter to the City of Light. While sometimes flawed (we do get the point, no need to have your lead monologue about why living in the past is bad), the beautiful ensemble-cast, charming plot and always clever dialogue makes this movie go to your head like a nice glass of bubbles.

Definitely one of my favorite movies.
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