I first watched this movie on a plane. Airplanes and traveling are a source of great comfort to me. In a sense they are the only real “home” that I have because I have moved and traveled so much. Maybe that is the reason I can be pretty picky about how I spend my time on an airplane. I don’t waste my time on movies that I don’t like, not even to “pass the time”, because the time on airplanes is precious to me. And this movie blew my expectations out of the water.
It is creative, it is insightful, and it gives me warm fuzzies. I like Owen Wilson, but his movie choices can be hit or miss for me. He is perfect for this role–a laid back, nostalgic screenplay writer trying to branch out into writing novels while on vacation with his high maintenance girlfriend and her wealthy parents in Paris. I was hooked from the opening scenes of Paris in the rain.
Rachel McAdams does a great job of playing the girlfriend that you love to hate while still making her feel like a real person. And of course Marion Cotillard is mesmerizing. Without giving too much away, the film explores the concept of misplaced nostalgia as Gil finds himself inexplicably able to return to “the good ole days” of Paris’ artistic scene.
This film struck a chord with me. I think it is easy for writers especially to feel out of place with the world around them and to idealize a different time or place. The truth is that every geographic location, every time period, and every life has its ups and its downs. When we spend our time fantasizing we’re somewhere else we miss the life we’re living.
I have loved this movie for years but only recently realized it’d be a great review on this website because it contains fantasy elements (time travel, obviously!). It’s just so sneaky about it!