‘Midnight in Paris’ Review: Self Indulgent and Anti-ConservativeThe headline: pan or paean? Apparently the main character's fiance's parents are conservative, and fun is had at their expense, which has never happened in a movie before. But here is another reason not to like it:
There is not much more I can say without giving the major plot twist away. However, I will say that the majority of jokes and dialogue require the viewer to have a strong background in the material. Anything short of that will leave the viewer perplexed and completely out of touch with the plot. In fact, when I saw the film, there were many jokes where only about five people in the audience were laughing hysterically. The remainder of the sold-out crowd just didn’t get it.Yes, you have to KNOW STUFF to get the jokes. How much more elitist and anti-conservative can you get? NONE MORE CAN YOU GET. I might go so far as to say that this Woody Allen film - as opposed to the Woody Allen films in which it was advantageous to know absolutely nothing - is for BOOKISH NERDS. How long can he sustain his career after such a sharp turn away from his audience of processed-cheese-food-eating NASCAR-loving hicks?
This is where the elitism and self-indulgent nature of Woody Allen shines. If you are not part of the inside joke and well aware of the literary and artistic references throughout, you will be lost. And, this, unfortunately, will be what kills this film commercially. It will play very well in intellectual centers and areas where elitism shines. But the mass general public throughout the world will almost definitely never see it.