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Review: Midnight in Paris

The Modernist playground of '20s Paris
By PETER KEOUGH  |  May 26, 2011
3.0 3.0 Stars

Woody Allen's habit of name-dropping cultural heavyweights can get annoying, and the prospect of a film in which the names are not only dropped but come to life doesn't sound like a good time. Yet this tartly ironic tour of the Modernist playground of '20s Paris is his funniest movie since Deconstructing Harry (1997), the last time he indulged in such a playful conceit. Credit Owen Wilson as Gil, a Woody surrogate who is more a naïf than a neurotic and whose enthusiasm is genuine and seductive. A screenwriter in present-day Hollywood, he has arty aspirations that are rekindled when he and his fiancée, Inez (Rachel McAdams), visit Paris as guests of her vulgarian parents. If only he could have lived there when Hemingway and Picasso rubbed shoulders at Gertrude Stein's, Gil muses, and quicker than you can say, "Kugelmass," it is so. Marion Cotillard makes for a generic muse, and the grass-is-always-greener theme creaks, but Paris might still be Woody's new Manhattan.

  Topics: Reviews , Movies, Owen Wilson, Woody Allen,  More more >
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