I have been feeling very nostalgic lately. We are living in a time of war, poverty, obesity, adultery, mediocrity, obsession with celebrity, and the Tea Party. It reminds me of that scene in The Ten Commandments when Moses comes down with the tablets only to find the “chosen people” have completely run amuck. Donald Trump is like that Edward G. Robinson character, hyping up the flock to pray to the golden calf, a.k.a. Kim Kardashian. Who have we become? Why are like sheep to the slaughter of our own best intentions? Eh, this is not for now, but I did thoroughly enjoy Midnight In Paris, Woody Allen‘s new movie. Midnight In Paris actually brought me back to a time that I long for. Unlike this movie, where the lead character romances the 1920′s in Paris and is whisked back to that time, through emotional time travel, I long for the late 1970′s in New York City. As in the case of the film’s star, Owen Wilson, whose present has him conflicted with certain life choices, my time now has me scratching my head. Besides, the 2010′s are not as fabulous as the 1970′s.
Midnight In Paris is delicious and as good as the movies that Woody Allen made in the 1970′s, back when people ran in droves to see them. Last night’s screening across the street from Bloomingdale’s was a throw back to when I would schlepp in from New Jersey to see his films at the Baronet – Coronet Theaters. I thought back to Sleeper, circa 1975. Like Sleeper, our hero in the film is thrust into another world, where his modern day sensibilities serves as a guidepost to what life is like or, rather, can be like. In Sleeper, Miles Monroe (Allen) is thrust into the future, where as in Midnight, Gil (Owen Wilson) keeps returning to the past. Wilson is perfect as a new version of Woody Allen from the 70′s. He has that same lovable, awkward contradiction of insecurity and confidence wrapped up in one, just unsure of his next steps. What I loved most about Midnight was how simple it was, complete with a happy ending. And not the Arnold Schwarzenegger kind, but a real happily ever after one. Like movies from the good old days, when films did not HAVE to be fast NOR furious and pirates sang along with Judy Garland. And in the case of horror, as with Hitchcock, a mere shadow could scare the beJesus out of a packed theater rather than have you watch someone getting sliced in half. Woody Allen has tapped in the zeitgeist, mine anyway, but surely I am not alone in wanting to go backwards as opposed to evolving as a society. Because if you call this evolution, well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle.