Midnight in Paris

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Midnight in Paris Movie Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Jaunty romcom mines adult themes of marriage and career.
  • PG-13
  • 2011
  • 94 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 14 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

True joy comes in finding something you love and actually doing it and through questioning it in the process. Also: Relationships that don't affirm your essence have an uphill climb. In short, pick someone who can share your bliss.

Positive Role Models & Representations

He may be meandering in disposition, but there's something to admire in a guy like Gil, who still holds hope for love and all that dreamy jazz.

Violence

No violent scenes; some talk of bull fighting and war.

Sex

Couples flirt and kiss. An engaged man declares his interest in a woman who's not his fiancee. A woman admits to infidelity. Discussion about how one character has slept with many men.

Language

Infrequent use of words like "hell" "damn," and "oh my God."

Consumerism

Some high-end labels, like Dior and Chopard, are seen on shopping bags and such, and they imply one family's wealth.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some of the characters date back to the gin- and bourbon-soaked 1920s, and they're shown swilling their nights away. One character is so inebriated that she threatens to drown herself. Several characters smoke.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this imaginative romantic comedy, which represents a return to form for master filmmaker Woody Allen, includes some thematic material -- infidelity, professional boredom -- that may be too mature for younger teens. But given the movie's charming journey back to historic Paris and its lack of anything specifically risque, older teens may get a kick out of it. (Think of it as a witty history lesson.) There's smoking and drinking -- champagne, wine, and bourbon, especially in scenes depicting the roaring '20s.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 13-year-old Written bycolten97 October 11, 2012

Allen's Dreams are Magical

There's something about the midnight hour, something special, mystical, and magical. In the case of this marvelous movie, its impact is fully realized, as... Continue reading
Parent of a 16-year-old Written byDavid F. June 8, 2020
Teen, 13 years old Written byTeaKitten March 21, 2021

Nothing Special

This movie felt pretty average. The plot line was quite dull, and the main character was slightly irritating. Also, the representations of the famous writers in... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bylimes and goldfish January 16, 2021

Fun concept, but a fairly average movie ruined by a lack of character development

Mild sexual themes are present throughout the movie, and several characters (both in the 20s and in the 2000s) become inebriated

The modern Parisian setting, a... Continue reading

What's the story?

On a trip to Paris with his jaded, pampered fiancée, Inez (Rachel McAdams), Hollywood screenwriter Gil (Owen Wilson) grows enamored once more of what he dreams is a true writer's life: to live in Paris and finish his novel, preferably in a charming little flat overlooking the City of Lights. But Inez (and her conservative businessman dad and decorator's discount-wielding mom) wants none of that. Instead, she wants Gil to disabuse himself of the romance of suffering and embrace Hollywood and the generous cash flow it offers. She also wants them to spend more time with the pedantic professor (Michael Sheen) she once had a crush on and his wife, who happen to be in Paris, too. When one of Gil's nighttime strolls turns into a fantastical trip back in time, where he's hobnobbing with the likes of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald (Tom Hiddleston and Alison Pill), Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll), and Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates), Gil's longing for escape blossoms. Especially one that involves the alluring artists' muse Adriana (Marion Cotillard).

Is it any good?

Owen Wilson as the perfect Woody Allen leading man -- who knew? But that he is, at least in this fine and deeply satisfying film. As a romantic who's longing to finish his novel about nostalgia, Wilson at last finds a character that captures, without dumbing down, his flake-with-a-poetic-soul essence. It's about time. But enough about him -- and the perfectly cast supporting players. MIDNIGHT IN PARIS is a gift to Allen fans who may have begun to doubt their guru after years of uneven, sometimes-great, often-disappointing, creations. This film is such a delight. Intelligent, insightful, and inspired in ways that recall Allen's best movies (cue, yes, nostalgia), it's playful and absurd, evoking Annie Hall and The Purple Rose of Cairo, but it also firmly reminds us that Allen is as vital as ever, with so much still to say about art and love and quietly desperate moments, even if it comes wrapped in his ever-familiar box. (There's still the signature black background with white credits and the best jazz soundtrack.) Now, can he come back to New York?

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why so many movies, especially romantic ones, take place in Paris. What's the allure? Do films like this set up an unrealistic expectation of both Paris and love?

  • Many of Allen's movies examine a certain type of boredom that besets relationships. What do they say about relationships in general and, specifically, about the lulls and doubts that inevitably set in?

  • Are you familiar with any of Allen's early work? Which filmmakers have stood the test of time?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love romance

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate