Opening, how else, with a montage of the French capital, Woody Allen opts to allow the audience to choose whether to focus on its beauty or the traffic corrupting it. Though thematically relevant, the most prescient result is several minutes of pedestrian shots being inflicted on an unguarded audience that would justifiably shout, “THIS IS NOT HOW YOU CINEMA.”
Venturing back into formalism Allen is similarly uneasy as he attempts to wield his high concept time travel clunker (yep). It is rarely a promising sign when you are force fed the symbolic meaning of a premise before it is even drawn out – at least that Aubrey Plaza movie had the sense to wait til the third act before shoving its, ahem, deep and oh very meaningful time travel emotional allusion down indie throats.
Midnight in Paris isn’t quite as bad as Safety Not Guaranteed. It’s enjoyable twaddle, though it was inevitable that the clearly bored writer-director’s dream of meeting his literary heroes of a bygone movement would never live up to any promise.