Who woulda thunk it? Woody Allen makes a time travel movie!! Not counting Sleeper (1973) and any other titles Woody Allen has written and directed about time travel, who would have ever thought he would make a past-time travel flick. But that is exactly what he has done with excellent results.
WA does not appear in MIP. Owen Wilson plays the young Allen alter ego screenwriter who journeys to Paris with his fiancée and her parents, just before they get married. That’s Owen and the fiancée….not her parents. The parents and the fiancée are decidedly conservative. OW is decidedly not. He envisions the good old days of Paris.
He wants to avoid doing all the touristy stuff. He manages this in a unique way.
Late one night, midnight to be exact, he is picked up by a group of revelers in a 1920’s vintage vehicle. He ends up in Paris of that era and meets a wide range of artistic characters from Ernest Hemingway to Pablo Picasso. He is somewhat surprised but quickly adapts to his lucky position in the Universe.
He becomes romantically involved with Pablo Picasso’s ex-girlfriend and complications ensue. He passes freely back and forth to modern times while never missing his car ride to the past each 12 AM. Let the good old times roll. Again.
Woody has created what is essentially an ode to the era of 1920’s Paris and the expatriated Americans and others living there. Other characters that turn up include the artistic giants of that generation. You’ll need to check out the film to find out who they are. WA’s vision and representation of Paris of that time, while contrasting it with the current day, is exquisite. Scenes in the recreated bars and restaurants of the long gone era are beautifully recreated. The character actors playing the historic folks are spot on. The Ernest Hemingway portrayal is macho and verbose. Just like our impression of the real character. Corey Stoll, who plays Hemingway, is currently in Law and Order: CS has had lesser roles in Lucky Number Slevin (2006) and Salt in (2010). He is perfect as the suicidal, but still macho, Hemingway persona.
If you have visited Paris or have a desire to, this film will either provide fond memories or support your goal to reach the City of Light. Lots of fun. Lots of romance. Lots of time travel. Who woulda thunk it?
Rated 3.4 out of 4.0 Somewhere in Time. Or somewhere in Paris.