Directed and Written by Woody Allen
Starring: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen, Kathy Bates

Watching Midnight in Paris I couldn’t help but wonder if today’s youth (if they even take in such movies) would be able to identify a lot of the famous personages who whiz by in this film. We get enough time with a few of them to be sure who they are, but others are little more than ghosts passing through the room. Woody still believes his audience to be the beneficiaries of a liberal arts education—and perhaps he’s right.

PLOT: Gil, a Hollywood writer, (Wilson) is about to take the big step and marry Inez (McAdams) but first the couple accompanies Inez’s parents to Paris to seal a deal.

Gil falls for Paris in a big way despite the vitriol Inez and her family toss its way, finding ways to disparage Paris and extol the U.S. at every meal, in every store.

Paris is especially enticing after dark when Gil walks the streets until midnight strikes and he is whisked away to another Paris entirely.

I am not usually an Owen Wilson fan (didn’t I say that about Will Ferrell a few weeks back) but he manages to anchor the film with the requisite sincerity and gee whizness. The film’s biggest weakness is the character McAdams plays. It is impossible to imagine anyone agreeing to spend a lifetime with her—or her family.

But all in all, it’s a real pate a choux of a film—a fantasy for anyone who loves Paris, the twenties, writing, art. It’s paper thin, but so is any first rate pastry.

Patti Abbott writes crime fiction short stories. She hosts a look at Forgotten Books every Friday with readers, writers and reviewers at She hopes you’ll join in.