Saturday, July 2, 2011

An Hour and a Half

Last night we drove to the AFI to see Midnight in Paris. I thought it a fine half-hour sketch padded to three times that length. There were a lot of old English majors in the audience, judging by the laughter at appropriate points.

I did notice one trait of Woody Allen's and wonder whether it is his own weakness or a calculated pandering to ours--he makes his points very broadly.
  • Gil's competitor, Paul, (who after all delivers a correct judgment on Gil's nostalgia in the first five minutes) must be a pedant. Up against a pedantic art professor, Gil looks pretty good. Against a figure with the mind of a Bernard Berenson, he would look quite different.
  • Gil's fiancee, Inez, is fundamentally dull, so Gil isn't presented with much of a choice when it's time to cut loose. She is quite beautiful, but in this movie the only women who aren't are Inez's mother, Gertrude Stein, and an extra or two.
  • Inez's parents are dull, rich, and purse-proud, her father stupidly conservative. I did not sense that it would take Richard Posner to demolish Gil in an argument, but dad has no recourse beyond calling him a communist.
S.J. Perleman wrote that the script writer Grover Jones had once instructed him in a point about writing Westerns: when the bad guy gets off the stage coach, he must kick the nearest dog. It's good to know some things don't change.


  1. So, you wouldn't recommend it? It's been a while since I've seen a Woody Allen film I was thinking of seeing this when it appears here.

  2. I don't regret seeing it. It is light fare, but not unpleasant.