This morning I finally convinced myself to watch Midnight in Paris - directed by Woody Allen, starring Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates, Tom Hiddleson, Allison Pill, etc.
This was one of those movies that people don't stop gushing about, so naturally I avoided it at all costs. I'm actually really glad I waited until now to see it. It was really something I need to see right now, and had I seen it a month ago I really wouldn't have taken to it in the same way.
I get pretty skeptic with movies that casually suggest time travel - especially when the characters meddle in the past. The was my one main bugaboo: Gil, the main character, pitches a movie idea to a director he knows will make that movie in the future. That was the only caveat, thank goodness. He didn't become the protagonist for a Hemingway novel or anything.
It was just so beautifully done. I know I'm being vague here, so let me try to summarize: Gil is on vacation in Paris with his fiance and her 'Ugly American' parents. He's in love with Paris and they can't wait to leave. He spends his evenings wandering the city by his lonesome when he gets lost. An old car pulls up at exactly midnight and whisks him off to Paris in the 20s - where he meets the Fitzgeralds, Mr. Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Salvador Dali, Picasso, and more.
It's a refreshing film because it really does highlight the best of Paris - making me feel guilty for spending so little time there, to be honest. Two hours did not properly suffice. Maybe because it mainly took place at night, it made Paris magical. Truly alluring.
Near the end of the film Gil verbalized a stark realization only moments after I had discovered it: the present, to any given person, is never The Golden Age. It wasn't in the 20s to the Picassos and it isn't to us in the 2010s because this is the present and the present is always dull because it isn't done yet. It was just...it was the perfect ending because it wasn't perfect, but it was the best Gil could do. He was in sort of a glum situation and he did what he could to right it. Sometimes that's all that can be done.