Woody Allen and I

by Tia on June 16, 2011

Woody Allen and I go a few years back. He may not be quite aware of it but we’ve shared memorable European  experiences. It all started with Vicky Christina Barcelona. I saw it around the anniversary of a trip to Spain I had taken a couple of years back. (Yes, I celebrate an array of made up milestones pre-, during and post-trip to make travel experiences last me a really long time!) I went to see the flick hoping to encounter some familiar scenes and was rewarded beyond my expectations when the final shots took me back to Taller de Tapas – a place that had the honor to serve as the venue of my first Barcelona dinner.

Now Woody has become commendably proactive, offering some food for thought in both the gastronomique and philosophical sense in his fresh release Midnight in Paris, which fit remarkably well into the timetable of my planning a Paris trip in a couple of months. What a perfect prelude to my upcoming voyage! The adventures of an all-American family in the French capital were portrayed in a minimalistic chic. Owen Wilson’s Gil character displayed just the right amount of sweet nostalgia that was cured in an appropriate, if very clichéd way, by his magical travels back in time. Not crassly funny, not too sweet, just the right combination of playfulness and culture to make it a wonderful demonstration of applied savoir faire. If I had to compare it to French cheese, it would hit the personality scale somewhere around Camembert – with more bite than Brie but less piquant than Roquefort. The literary, film and fine arts references – Hemmingway, Picasso, Bunuel and even Joséphine Baker among others – were all wonderfully digestible, not requiring any pre-existing deep educational dives. The predictability of the enfolding events did not lead to any more annoyance than, say, the queue for La Tour Eiffel’s lift.

To make the string of synchronicities more pronounced, the movie came out just days after I ordered The Paris Wife, thus increasing the potential for Mr. Hemingway to become even more involved in my upcoming Parisian adventure. Allons-y!

 

P.S. The overuse of French expressions in the above text is entirely deliberate and only partially excused by the fact that as a child, French was my second foreign language – after Russian and well before English.  

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