Still Musing About “Midnight In Paris”

Yesterday afternoon, self was determined to get to Hoover Archives  —  garden, sweltering heat, and upcoming Stanford commencement (meaning:  no parking anywhere within one mile) be damned.

But she only got as far as The Café in the Arrillaga Alumni Center, because once she got to thinking about Rick’s Ice Cream . . .

My bad, OK?  My bad!  Self sat on a stool and ate a scoop of Swiss Mocha (which tasted just like chocolate:  where’s the mocha?) and watched as crowds of proud parents strolled through the heat …

Then she went home.

Did self ever impart to dear blog readers how long the lines to “Midnight in Paris” have been?  Self passes the Menlo Guild every day, on her way to Stanford.  Yesterday, Thursday, there were people lining up already at 3 p.m., and the next screening wasn’t until 4 p.m.  In fact, a local restaurant has been making this pitch:  If you see “Midnight in Paris” at the Guild, you are entitled to a free glass of wine at Bistro Vida afterwards.  You just have to walk to Santa Cruz Avenue, where the restaurant is located, and that’s not very far away at all.

Self is determined to see “Midnight in Paris” again, just not right away.  Anyway, she’s sure the movie will be around for at least a couple more weeks.  Congratulations, Woody!

Today, it suddenly occurred to self that “Midnight in Paris” is, almost note for note, a Cinderella story.

SPOILER ALERT!  SPOILER ALERT!

With Owen Wilson playing the Cinderella role (much as Edward Norton did in “The Painted Veil,” which is a very different kind of movie —  Self!  There you go again!  Can you not refrain from making these utterly meaningless and rambling digressions?), and the Evil Stepmother and Stepsisters played by troglodytes!  Oh, self didn’t really mean that the Rachel McAdams character and her parents are troglodytes.  Only:  YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING, THROWING OWEN WILSON OVER FOR MICHAEL SHEEN!  SHEEN’S FULL BEARD IS ABSOLUTELY NO MATCH FOR THE BUTTERSCOTCH STALLION’S SHAGGY MANE!

The only thing that self found a wee bit disconcerting about Owen Wilson’s performance is that he sometimes purses his lips.  If it had just been a few seconds, self would let it go.  It occurs in the scene when Wilson is seated on a bench with Carla Bruni-Sarkozy (otherwise known as the First Lady of France) playing The World’s Most Accommodating Tour Guide.  Anyhoo, Owen purses his lips, not in her direction, but in a far-off direction, where presumably Marion Cotillard awaits.  Self suddenly begins to wonder, Why, Owen, why?  Are you perhaps morphing into one of those helpful Filipinos who, when asked for directions, simply put their lips together and pout?  Filipinos can pout in four directions, didn’t you know?  If there was ever a “pursing of the lips” contest, a Filipino would win, no question.  The pursing means you don’t ever have to do anything as tiring as speaking to an absolute stranger.  Tourists have no status unless you’re European, male, and have cash crawling out of your wallet.  Self knows this because she herself has been a tourist in the Philippines, many times.  But that was before she discovered she could hide out in Bacolod.  Where she is not a tourist —  simply an eccentric writer.

Okey dokey, where were we?

Oh yes, the Cinderella parallel.  You see, a stagecoach comes along at midnight —  No, self no!  That is not a stagecoach that picks up forlorn Owen Wilson as he reclines on some steps in the most deserted alley in all of Paris.  That is a certified boxy French car!  With elegant people inside!  Who drink flutes of champagne!  Who take our hero with them to the most fabulous par-tay!

But Wilson can only access this world at midnight.  For in the daytime, it’s back to cinders-and-ash.  Oops, no, what self really means is:  it’s back to shopping on the Faubourg du Saint Honoré, with that pair of troglodytes (McAdams and Sheen), and they are in hell —  Oops no, what self means is:  They are in a museum.  Standing in front of a Picasso.  Which really is like hell when you have someone like the Michael Sheen character playing tour guide.

If self gets any more thoughts about this movie later today, she will impart them.

In the meanwhile, stay tuned.


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