The Purple Rose of Cairo

Movie review by Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media
The Purple Rose of Cairo Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 12+

Whimsical Woody Allen love note to '30s films.

PG 1985 84 minutes

Parents say

age 9+

Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 11+

Based on 2 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 11+

Movie magic until the very end

This title, to those who have seen Allen's film, will know exactly what I mean, and know that I'm not knocking the film, but referring to its...interesting ending. Otherwise, it's a highly original tale by America's most neurotic storyteller about the power the movies can have on you, so much so that Jeff Daniels can walk straight off the screen! Daniels and Mia Farrow are excellent here, Daniels pulling double duty (you'll see), making both characters distinct and a joy to watch, and Farrow's Cecilia is so meek and likable you just want to wrap her up in a hug and give her an unlimited movie pass! Her character does begin to stand up for herself, which ultimately leaves a good message about defending yourself against bullies. The movie has some great meta-lines, since in fact, we are watching Mia Farrow in a movie watch a gets pretty self-referential. "I just met a wonderful man. He's fictional but you can't have everything" is a perfect summation of this movie: clever, adorable and not without its sadness.
age 6+

One of Allen's best film to date

Woody's stories are often derivative, but he's forgiven that, usually, because the results are good and ultimately do deserve his signature. For PURPLE ROSE, he swipes Buster Keaton's gimmick in SHERLOCK, JR., then lets his imagination run free as he did in the best of his NEW YORKER stories. We wind up with the most fascinating and realistic meditation regarding what it is to be an audience, a viewer's relationship to art, art's relationship to reality. The triumph is amazing, because, despite the depth of the symbolism, PURPLE ROSE can also be seen as sheer entertainment; on its surface, it is still one of the most entertaining pictures Woody has ever made. Farrow and Aiello are marvelous here; Mia, who is quite underrated, has only been as good once -- in BROADWAY DANNY ROSE. The photography is superb, influenced perhaps by Edward Hopper with generally less obvious light sources. Splendid, splendid work.

Movie Details

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