Saturday, July 9, 2011


There's a hoary joke about a Texan who goes to Paris, sees the Eiffel Tower, and says, "How many barrels a day do you get out of that one."

Texan actor Owen Wilson is never that gauche in Midnight in Paris. He loves the City of Light so much that he wants to marry it. His fiancee and prospective in-laws are another story, namely the story of the Ugly American. If the movie has a serious flaw it's that you might not understand how Wilson came to be engaged to Rachel McAdams. Of course there's a brief scene where she starts to kiss him on their hotel bed, suggesting that her character can be persuasive when she cares to be.

So, time travel. Yes, it's a big part of the movie, and accomplished without any special effects to speak of. A blessing to Gil in that he gets to spend time with his Lost Generation idols, including a jaw-dropping Corey Stoll as Ernest Hemingway. (I know very little about this actor except that he was on Law & Order: Los Angeles, which I didn't watch and apparently no one else did either. But he'll turn up in more places, I'm sure.) The charm of the past never dims, but the film winds up stating that the present has it's place too.

All in all a pleasant experience. Also when I saw it I got a $2 bill as change. Those give you a distinctive way to leave a tip.


susan said...

It sounds pretty cool and I really like the VanGogh background on the billboard. Woody Allen movies are generally better when there's little or no Woody actually in them.

What's with the $2 bill? Is that new?

Ben said...

I like a lot of the movies with him in them, but there's not really a part for him in this one. Owen Wilson takes on a lot of his mannerisms, not surprisingly, but it's a young man's part.

The $2 bill has pretty much been around since the Civil War. It's got Thomas Jefferson on the front. I'm not too surprised if you haven't seen one, though. They're quite rare. Also most cash registers don't have a slot for them, so retail businesses won't request them from the bank.