John: Well, I’ll be perfectly frank. I’m excited about this corporate merger between our folks and the French company, but otherwise…I’m not a big Francophile.
Helen: John hates their politics.
John: Certainly been no friend of the United States.
Gil: Well, I mean, you can’t exactly blame them for not following us down that rabbit’s hole in Iraq with the whole Bush -
Inez: Oh please, let’s not get into that discussion again -
Gil: We’re not getting in – by the way, it’s fine for your father and me to disagree – that’s what a democracy is. Your father defends the right wing of the Republican Party and I happen to think you’ve almost got to be…like a demented lunatic, but it’s like -
At a glance:
Woody Allen parlays his love of art, history, and nostalgia to create a charming, Paris-based story of a Hollywood writer at the crossroads of his career
Our review (with spoilers):
Gil (Owen Wilson) and his fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams) arrive in Paris to do some pre-wedding shopping. Gil is in love with the city, particularly with its rich history, while Helen just wants to buy things and return to the good old USA. This is a somewhat unlikely couple; they disagree on the big things, but importantly agree on liking pita bread. One night, while Gil is out walking, he is transported back in time to his cherished 1920s Paris. There, as well as meeting a number of famous artists and writers (for example, Ernest Hemingway) he is instantly attracted to the lovely Adriana (Marion Cotillard). Soon Gil is questioning the decisions he has made in the present as he falls in greater love with the past.
After numerous failures and partial successes, Woody Allen has again done what he has done so many times in the past: he has created a gentle, insightful, funny ‘film’. Almost anyone can create a handful of scenes, but Allen makes a coherent, singular object which tells a story and creates a character arc. Likewise, Owen Wilson rides this great script to produce an Oscar-worthy performance, full of natural joy, humor, and melancholy. There were tears in my eyes from his performance, and from the startling realization that Owen and Woody are back, baby!
Rating: 3.5 of 4
Other reviewers said:
"Woody Allen must have had a great time writing this screenplay."
- Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times)
"An effervescent, witty and absorbing tale lost in time ... Allen rekindles his character love affair that made him such a satisfying film-maker a couple of decades ago."
- Lisa Giles-Keddie (Real.com)