Much has already been written about Woody Allen’s new movie, Midnight in Paris, yet all through the movie I thought of things I’d like to write about it. I loved everything about the film, and it spurred so many thoughts and reflections that I definitely plan to see it again.
Midnight in Paris is also about great writers and, because I know I’ll never be one, I’ve deemed it best to let the movie speak for itself. Pretty much.
There’s just one thing around the edges that perplexes me and it almost has nothing to do with the movie per se.
Before seeing the movie yesterday, I had read a lot of reviews, published by critics and posted by friends. I also took a glance at the synopsis in our paper’s Weekend section, just to get a refresher before I went. It was a decent recap that I found helpful. But—and, without checking, I assume this is required by the Motion Picture Association or some self governing body—the summary was followed by the obligatory caveat: “Contains some sexual references and smoking.”
Smoking? Do we honestly need to warn viewers or the parents thereof that they might see characters smoking?
Oh, for heaven’s sake. It’s a Woody Allen movie that essentially takes place in Paris in the 1920s. Do we really think some 12-year-old will see Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald puffing away while listening to Cole Porter play piano in the background, and run to 7-Eleven for her first pack of Marlboros? At twice the price of a movie and Milk Duds?
As a parent, I understand the need to regulate our adolescents’ intake of adult themes. I know there are tweens all over the world telling their parents this very day that they’re seeing Kung Fu Panda 2, when they’re really sneaking into The Hangover 2. But if my kid went to the movies and came home with Ernest Hemingway as his role model, well, maybe that’s a bad example. Let’s just say if my kid came home from Midnight in Paris inspired to be a great writer, by a writer who happened to smoke cigarettes in Paris in the 1920s, is that something that merits a warning?
Hey, I grew up watching Lucy and Ricky Ricardo light up in virtually episode and I never smoked. Jeez.