Woody Allen had the biggest hit of his career with the winsome Midnight in Paris, a winsome fantasia about nostalgia and artistic angst.
Owen Wilson has the Woody surrogate role as a successful Hollywood screenwriter on vacation in Paris with his shallow harpy of a fiance (Rachel McAdams) and her rich parents. He's struggling with writing a novel about a man who works in a "nostalgia shop" selling vintage knick-knacks. One night, while lost trying to find his way back to the hotel, he is picked up by a classic motor car and when he gets out, he finds himself in the 1920s, hanging out with F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald (Tom Hiddleston, Loki from Thor, and Allison Pill, the drummer of Sex Bob-omb in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), Cole Porter, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates), Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali (Adrien Brody), and many more. If you're an art or literature buff, it's a hoot. During his return visits, he is beguiled by Marion Cotillard because, well, she's Marion Cotillard and, unlike McAdams, she's not a grating beyatch.
I had a hard time getting into Midnight in Paris at first because of the typical Woody dialog in which everyone sounds like Woody - all hyper-literate and unrelated to natural vocal cadences. However, when Wilson starts time-tripping it mellows out and becomes a nice ride. It's been compared to his 1985 classic, The Purple Rose of Cairo, in it's conceit of impossible co-mingling but this isn't as good because the modern "reality" is clearly so deficient to the Roaring Twenties, but Woody addresses this in an insight late in the picture.
Woody will be turning 76 in a few days and he'd probably benefit from cutting back from his annual release schedule in favor of alternating years because for every little gem like Midnight in Paris or 2008's Vicki Cristina Barcelona - I still need to catch up with 2005's Match Point (are you noticing the pattern here?) - he's had twice as many facepalms that are watering down his legacy. (He will burn in Hell for Annie Hall winning over Star Wars, though.)
My girlfriend actually liked Midnight in Paris more than I did because she appreciated some of the references more than I did. (I had to pause the movie and have a lengthy riff involving a Jean-Paul Sartre play explained to me. Sue me; I went to public school.) It's not profound, but it is a nice light treat and worth a look.
Score: 6/10. Rent it.
This trailer is TERRIBLE! It focuses on the worst part - the modern day stuff - and consigns the magic to a few quick flashes. It's a miracle anyone wanted to see this movie based on what's here.