November 22, 2017

Take Your Teen to Be Inspired at Midnight in Paris

After all the kid movies this summer, it was refreshing to go to the theatre for Midnight in Paris, but I hardly expected to leave the film inspired.

midnight in paris

Written and directed by Woody Allen, Owen Wilson stars as Gil Bender, the self-analyzing, self-effacing character that is signature Woody Allen.  This time, Hollywood screenwriter Gil Bender and his fiancée, Inez, played by Rachel McAdams, are vacationing in Paris with her parents.  After making a reputation for himself as a “Hollywood hack” back home, Bender is determined to write the novel he has long suffered to achieve and wants Paris to serve as his artistic inspiration. Inez is anything but supportive, even cruel.


As the couple grow apart in the City of Love, Gil finds himself thrust into a time warp every evening during his midnight stroll- he is still in Paris, but it’s the roaring 1920s and he encounters all of his creative heroes along the way like Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Gertrude Stein (played perfectly by Kathy Bates).


The storyline is fresh, the attention to detail is amazing, and the city of Paris plays such a role it is a character itself.  I simply loved it.


Watching Midnight in Paris I felt like I did after listening to my favorite college professor discuss the works of T.S. Eliot and The Great Gatsby.  He made it interesting- I wanted to learn more.  I left the film wanting to ditch television, and pick up the phone to call friends instead of checking in with them on Facebook. I wanted to read, write and travel (even if I couldn’t leave Sacramento just then).


One of the themes of the story, though, is that there is no perfect situation, or time to be living.  We have to make the most of what we have, right now, a good lesson to share with teens.


And Bender’s fiancée is so unsupportive, it is a good film to show older kids what not to look for in a spouse, despite money, lifestyle or looks.


Midnight in Paris is a story that asks us to suspend reality.  How could every single person Gil meets be a famous artist or writer from the past? Yet once we allow ourselves to be lost in the dreamy landscapes of Paris, the movie is indeed a breath of fresh air.


I recommend this movie for kids aged 17 and up.

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