Thursday, December 30, 2010

Purple Rose of Cairo

It's the Depression and Mia Farrow is having a bad time of it. Her husband is lousy to her, she's no good at her job and the only solace she finds is at the movie theater.

It is there that she goes to lose herself. But one of the characters of the film is so drawn to her that he leaves the screen and enters the real world.

She wants to leave behind her real problems and he wants to leave his fake world. They meet somewhere in the middle.

But then the movie can't go on and the actor who played him gets involved and tricks Mia into falling in love with him.

She has to make a decision: stay in the perfect world of the movies with a fictional character or take a chance on a real person. She chooses the real.

The movie character goes back into the film and is destroyed and the actor leaves Mia.

She is left alone and her husband tells her: "It ain't the movies. It's real life."

And so what does she do? She goes to the movie theater.

This was the first movie I associated with Woody Allen before I knew who he was. And for a while (right up until I watched it just now), I thought it was boring.

But I think it's a really great homage, not just to movies, but to the act of watching movies.

I think this film goes a little further into Woody's idea about the nature of film being a place to right the wrongs of life. Because it offers the flip side of that coin. That no matter how perfectly you might fix things in a movie, you can't live there.

But it is always there as a consolation.

I think I might give it four stars.

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