01 June 2011

What I Learned About Famous Authors From Watching "Midnight In Paris" (dir. Woody Allen, 2011)

  • It's okay to call T.S. Eliot "Tom" if that's how he introduces himself.
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald is a nice dude but his hair is questionable. And his wife is 12, if not in real age than in behavior and stature.
  • Alice B. Toklas doesn't talk and is practically invisible.
  • Ernest Hemingway would not be that much fun to hang out with, in part because he has to work his man-credentials into every conversation. Also, he hates you. He'll still get a drink with you, but he hates you.
  • That Djuna Barnes, man, she can dance.
  • It's fun to hang out, but in the end Gertrude Stein is the only one who will actively help you get your shit together.


mkpheartsnyc said...

haha - I found myself liking the movie, but also put-off by the Man Writer Idolizes Other Man Writers, Gertrude Stein Is An Afterthought, It's Ok To Ignore Women's Talents As Long As You Mention They Have Talent subtexts. How hard would it have been to have Zelda Fitzgerald read something, to see some examples of Marion Cotillard's character's costumes, to give Rachel McAdams a second dimension....

Evidently very hard.

But apparently Woody Allen really wants to write novels and since he can't get away from being a Hollywood hack the closest he can get is writing opening paragraphs to novels in his books.

(I was not "hooked"...I was waiting for Gertrude to affirm that there was no there there.

Ellen said...

I guess I would have given more thought to the female characters if every character weren't similarly flat -- in fact, Gil's the only non-flat character in the movie. Maybe they were all his hallucinations because he needed some kind of creative friction to work against for his magnum opus!

...Okay, maybe not. I kind of bought that his only writing idols were Hemingway and Fitzgerald (plus Faulkner, though he didn't appear), though. Not that that makes it right! But it might not occur to him to look beyond his college syllabus, because like Michael Sheen's character, he assumes he already knows all about it.

On the other hand, it was a fun trifle, I laughed a lot, and I adjust my expectations for Woody Allen movies based on the first two.