Escape to Paris 

Published 11:43 am Tuesday, May 21, 2024

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This week at the Tryon Theatre, we have a pairing of films to help our audience take a Parisian holiday, even if only for the duration of a film. These two films are both directed by Woody Allen and are both perfectly befitting of the season, light and breezy, with tight runtimes and even more efficient scenes, sparing no time to dive into their characters and plots. One of these films is a new release, “Coup de Chance,” and the other is a 2011 film, “Midnight in Paris.” Both of these films are set in Paris and are lovingly indulgent in the charm with which they portray it. 

“Coup de Chance” is a film about the very French themes of infidelity and romance, with a little dash of murder thrown in. To delve too deeply into the details of the plot would be to ruin the film. However, at the foundation, the film follows a couple, Fanny and Jean, wealthy and established, whose seemingly perfect lives are upended into jealousy and criminal intent when an old friend of Fanny’s reappears in her life. This film is admittedly dark in its concept but treats its subject matter and characters with a bubbly absurdity that veers more heavily into comedy than drama. The music throughout is jazzy and energetic, a comedic juxtaposition to the themes of deception and violence. But for as surprisingly light as “Coup de Chance” is, “Midnight in Paris”  is even more so, without an ounce of darkness to its charm and comedy. 

“Midnight in Paris” follows an American film writer, Gil (Owen Wilson) as he travels to Paris with his fiance and her parents. Shortly into this holiday, Gil finds himself disaffected by the mundane and bourgeois concerns of his in-laws and sets out on foot to find a more independent and authentic experience. In a turn of delightful magical realism, the stroke of midnight turns the city back in time, and Gil soon is engaged in conversation with his literary idols, having been fantastically transported back to the roaring 20s. This time travel in the film provides no end to hilariously conceived adaptations of artists from the 1920s—Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Picasso, to name a few—all played by charming cameos from a coterie of excellent character actors. “Midnight in Paris” is sweet and happy, a true feel-good film.  

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We hope our audience will join us for this cinematic and seasonally appropriate breath of fresh French air, a likely necessary balance to last week’s intensity. We look forward to sharing some multilingual laughs with you soon!

On an important note of these paired films, “Coup de Chance” is a French language film, and will be shown with English subtitles for all showtimes. “Midnight in Paris” is an English language film, and unfortunately does not have any subtitled showtimes available. “Coup de Chance” will play on Wednesday at 7 p.m., Thursday at 2:30 p.m., and Saturday at 7 p.m. “Midnight in Paris” will play on Thursday at 7 p.m., Friday at 7 p.m., and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.