How do you review a theme park? do you list the rides and tell people which ones were most fun for you? or do you tell people how the rides look real and are better than the real thing for the money? do you ogle the cute employees and wonder what it would take to do them? or do you just take a date and suck on her tonsils as the show passes like a love tunnel all gold and black around you?
Im sure woody knew he was making a theme park ride through the literary “golden age” of American Literature – the twenties Paris which (in order of appearance ) scott and Zelda fitzgerald, cole poter(what? he wrote sheet music) Earnest hemingway, Pablo piccaso, gertrude stein, salvador dali,luis bunuel….and you can even take pictures with look alikes in the lobby and buy hemingway action figures that you can make makeout with the Adriana Action figure(you wish! its Allen, not George Lucas!) in the post movie apreritif at the overpriced cafe attached to the mall theater.
and yet Allen , who is just a product of his times develops the germ of an idea- a teaching aid for 1920’s American Literature into a gentle criticism of screenwriters in hollywood. so gentle that the skin wuld break and peel on touch . You are romantics , successful romantics in a sharkpit of capitalism, true creativity will flower if you move to a more nurturing environment, like…say the french left bank in the 1920s. Not that we shouldn’t put the past behind us, but taking theme park ride to a golden age where they did something right, might not hurt.
As usual, the blondes (and the brunette) are highly fuckable in a long line of fuckable woody allen women charecters ( Diane Keaton, Mia Farrow, Mariel Hemingway, Drew Barrymore, and here the lovely marion cotillard, the highly fuckable(did I say that before? Im drooling) Rachel Mc Adams and Carla bruni) bathed in the golden glow of paris luxury hotel rooms. Every shot of the french capital is a poster cliche, even the sequences with Henri tolouse latrec. Its like Allen is afraid of commercial failure and being rejected by his American tourist senior audience.(well we went to paris and it was better than that!) ,
Owen wilson can, if it can be believed , not look more like woody allen. he channels the senior’s collapsed nose nebbush perfectly. You also get the feeling that, as the burgoise manhattaner (allen) has grown more prosperous, has made “Manhattan ” in paris. An opening sequence of ” Chapter1: He loved Paris…” would not have been out of plave in this one.
You’d almost think, watching this film, that Paris is populated with American expat tourists alone, which , of course is the truth .