Manifique! Superbe! Charmante!
Imagine a movie filled with images of something you love and long for. I saw another reviewer explain that Paris is the main character in this movie, and I have to agree. The movie begins with shots of famous Paris monuments and tourist attractions.
At first, Earl elbowed me each time he recognized something in Paris -- Monet's gardens, the green metal book stalls along the Seine -- until I threatened him. After all, we had visited most of those tourist attractions.
I'm not a Woody Allen fan, but I loved this movie. From the previews,I could see that Owen Wilson, who plays Gil the main actor, yearned for Paris. He plays a writer, so already here is another connection. A writer who loves Paris -- I felt I could relate.
What I didn't get from the previews was that Gil goes back in time to the Roaring 20s, the time when Paris teamed with American writers like Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Stein; painters like Picasso and Dali; along with surrealist filmmakers.
The frenetic Gil itches to be in the Paris of the 20s until he is transported and finally learns that people, maybe writers and artists and philosophers, long for that time in the past when things were better. Yet each time period wishes to have experienced a previous, better time period.
It made me think of an episode of Mad Men where Don pitched the Kodak slide carousel. He explained, "...in Greek, nostalgia literally means the pain from an old wound. It's a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone."
Perhaps people are always nostalgic for that time they can't recapture. They remember it as a superior time.
I wonder if Woody Allen is nostalgic for a simpler time, or maybe, like me, he simply loves Paris and wanted to showcase it in a movie.
I'm so glad that he did.
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