I thought it’d be fun to let you know my thoughts on the great {though super-neurotic and with a controversial personal life that makes my film students squirm} Woody Allen’s most recent two films. You can read more of my film thoughts over here on my Film page.

Get your Netflix ready to queue up one of them….but only one of them.

I’d love to know your favorite Woody Allen film – please shout it out in the comments!

“Midnight in Paris”: I will say up-front that I have not had the privilege of visiting Paris yet. The city of lights has always seemed enticing and romantic, but this film gave it a whole new, enchanting sheen. Our protagonist is a successful Hollywood screenwriter – perfectly and earnestly played by Owen Wilson – who comes to his favorite city on a vacation with his beautiful-but-superficial fiance – played by Rachel McAdams. He spends a lot of time alone, walking the cobblestoned streets and finding inspiration to finish the novel that is his real love. Like me, he has a fascination with the Paris of the 1920’s we all have read about; a world filled with Hemingway {who, as a writer, is pretty much God to me}, F.Scott Fitzgerald and his zany wife Zelda, dark bars, the perfect cocktail, flapper dresses, and Picasso. I had watched zero previews for this, so it was a lovely surprise when the film took a magical turn as our main character found himself among the greats each night at midnight by hopping into an old-fashioned car.

Hemingway gives him advice on love and writing. He shows his novel to Gertrude Stein. He has an attraction to the girlfriend of Picasso, beautifully and sweetly played by Marion Cotillard. He finds inspiration and spark, things missing in his own life in the twenty-first century. He tries to explain it to his fiance, and I think you know where this is going. It was a delightful ride. It smacked of Woody Allen with the snappy dialogue, of course, but it didn’t get overly-cerebral. It reminded me of The Curse of the Jade Scorpion with its fun-factor.

In short, I adored this movie. I’d watch it again and again. For this busy mama, that’s saying something.

“To Rome with Love”: The best thing about this film is, hands-down, Rome. It definitely is a love-letter to the city. In the end, I felt like my husband and I had just enjoyed a walk around the city and relived some of the best dates we ever had from our trip there almost five years ago. The second-best thing about this film was the cute little Italian man who won our hearts with Life Is Beautiful. His character was precious and baffled, and he was just adorable. Basically, what we have here is a bunch of different stories going on, and most of them don’t even overlap with one another. I was constantly like, “What does this have to do with anything?” In the beginning, the introduction to each little sideshow was hilarious, but each lost steam. The most annoying part of this film was Ellen Page. Her character was such a poseur, and the spark that develops between her and the nerdy guy who played the founder of Facebook in that other movie? Absolutely unbelievable. And Alec Baldwin’s character? I wasn’t sure if he was supposed to be real or some sort of a ghost. The film was very random. Certainly there are better Woody Allen movies out there – Annie Hall, Match Point – but I wouldn’t put this in a list among those classics.

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6 Comments on the latest woody allen.

  1. Woody Allen movies are so refreshing. Delectable moments in all of his films. Love him. I think Scoop was my first encounter with Woody Allen.
    Nice piece here. I haven’t got around to catch ‘ Midnight in Paris’ though. Sounds good.

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