(Tender is the Night)
Way back in Woody’s 1979 Manhattan he played a writer who “longed to be an artist but balked at the necessary sacrifices” whereas now Owen Wilson has the aid of a 1920’s Peugeot equipped with a Flux Capacitor to gain artistic insight and inspiration from a bygone era. Charmed with it’s wit and fantasy the reality is that Woody’s gone soft in his latest 2011’s Midnight in Paris where renowned artists and writers are pontificating and spitting on Gil’s (Owen) neck leaving him pussy whipped not only in the past but in the present and future as well. Perhaps this is why Van Gogh never makes an appearance, an ear is too great a sacrifice as Owen won’t even consider a nose job.
The Woodman has often been criticized for rehashing his old bits and in his latest it is no different. Though I do enjoy the fresh cast and was reminded of the charming Owen pre Dupree and was surprised to find Rachel McAdams a likable bitch. Unlike The Purple Rose of Cairo, the bridge between reality vs. fantasy is blurred by the end of the picture and while McAdams and Sheen do hook up in real life, we leave the theater feeling nostalgic, not just for the city of lights of the 20’s or Belle Epoque, but for the whole tragic comedy of life. But I was feeling more nostalgic for his earlier funnier movies and was hoping that amongst Hemmingway, Zelda and Scott, that Zelig would drop by too.