Midnight in Paris Directed by: Woody Allen Starring: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates Rating: PG-13 Release Date: May 20, 2011 (limited)
TRAILER SCORE: 6/10
MY THOUGHTS: Full disclosure, I'm not much of a Woody Allen fan. It's impossible for me to not read his personal life into his work considering so much of his work is about his personal life. Now, without moralizing too much, I really couldn't care less about Woody Allen's personal life. That's why, and I know that this is sacrilege to the film students out there, I prefer more of his newer stuff.
Judging from the trailer, Midnight in Paris is a perfect example of the rebirth of Woody Allen. For starters, it doesn't have Woody Allen playing Woody Allen. Instead, it has Owen Wilson playing a shade of Woody Allen's typical neurotic protagonist. Now, Wilson can't quite sell the whole neurotic thing, but he's tolerable. McAdams is charming and agreeable, as she usually is, so the trailer doesn't really help or hurt her, but the real star of the trailer is the "pseudo-intellectual" of the trailer. I've searched desperately to find the character's name, with no luck, but there's something about him. One of the things I've always noticed about Woody Allen is that the best characters he writes are the characters he clearly doesn't like. They're just fuel for the flames. There's so much enjoyment I get out of not liking the characters (not sure what that says about me) and having fun with it.
Where the trailer loses me is its apparent lack of narrative. I have an idea of what the movie is about, but there doesn't seem to be any really beginning, middle, or end. This isn't really a problem considering a lot of Allen's movies tend to meander about aimlessly, but considering the structure of the trailer, it's a little puzzling. Still, Allen seems right on target with this trailer, romanticizing the city with beautiful imagery and the quaint music, while showcasing his penchant for oddball characters.