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Midnight in Paris with the Cowboy from Night in the Museum

Here’s where I confess that my husband and I haven’t had a night out by ourselves since 2006. The last grown-up movie we saw in a theater by ourselves was Dave Chappelle’s Block Party. So when Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris started getting some nice reviews last May, and was still in a local theater at the end of August, we finally looked at each other and said, “Who do we know that will babysit?” The last neighborhood girl who’d sat for us had grown up and moved away. I had a friend from yoga who kept saying she’d come over and play video games with Jackson all night, but we could never get our schedules to mesh.

In the end, we decided that we’d take Jackson to see Midnight in Paris with us and there was nothing he could do about it. I’d seen my first Woody Allen movie at exactly the same age, in the summer between fourth and fifth grade, when my grandmother took me to see Sleeper. I’m not sure what possessed her. I’m sure she felt uncomfortable during the scenes where people were piling into the Orgasmatron. I remember thinking that everyone’s hair sure looked funny when they came out of it, but since the whole thing was about as graphic as someone walking out of an elevator, my innocence remained intact.

Jackson was a little fidgety at the beginning of Midnight in Paris, but by the end he admitted he really enjoyed it. His favorite character: Ernest Hemingway. “I would have given it a different ending, though,” he said as we left the theater. “I wanted to see what happened next.” So for ten-year-olds everywhere, I’ve tried to give the film a more satisfying ending.

P.S. I don’t plan on making this column exclusively about action-figure plot reenactments, it’s just a mood I get into sometimes.

Gil Pender: “Well, here we are in Paris. I love this city. I want to move here and be a real writer.”

Inez: “Don’t be ridiculous. You need to keep being a Hollywood hack so we can live on the beach in Malibu and have expensive chairs.”

Gil: “That sounds like slow death to me, but for some reason I find you attractive so I’m going to ignore that still, small voice inside me and try to wrestle you into bed.”

Inez: “Keep it PG-13, fella.”

Gil: “No problem.”

Gil: “Man, I’m drunk. I’m going to go for a walk and get lost in Paris at night without my fiancée, who I’m starting to suspect only wants me for my money.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald: “Hey, stranger! Hop into our Jazz-age car that has curtains in it!”

Zelda Fitzgerald: “Let’s get even more drunk!”

Gil: “I’m hallucinating and I don’t even care.”

Fitzgerald: “So, Gil, what do you do for a living?”

Gil: “I’m a writer, but I’m not nearly as good as you. ”

Fitzgerald: “Twenty-three skidoo!”

Gil: “I’m not exactly sure what year this is, so you might not have published Gatsby yet, so I’m going to be exceedingly vague about your career and just praise your work in a really general way.”

Fitzgerald: “And I’m not going to say anything about the strange cut of your clothes, as the glacial pace of change to the prep uniform makes it conceivable that you come from some isolated pocket of Maine that doesn’t have much of a high season.”

Gil: “You, sir, are an exceedingly high-functioning alcoholic.”

Fitzgerald: “I’d be a mere dipsomaniac if it weren’t for Zelda.”

Fitzgerald: “Gil, have you met Ernest Hemingway?”

Hemingway: “I’m going to crush your head like a walnut.”

Gil: “Oh my God, I’m going to faint. Would you read my novel?”

Hemingway: “I already hate it.”

Gil: “This is the best day of my life.”

Hemingway: “Get up, Gil Pender, and shake hands with Gertrude Stein.”

Gertrude: “Yes, Mr. Pender, I don’t want to think you’re lying there trying to get a look up my skirt.”

Gil: “First of all, Ms. Stein, I have far too much respect for you to even think of doing that. Secondly, my feet are on sideways and I have no discernible hip joints.”

Hemingway: “Goddamned Mattel.”

Gil: “Would somebody please read my novel?”

Gertrude: “Give it to me, I’ll do it. I can make a novelist out of anyone.”

Salvador Dalí: “I don’t do drugs. I am drugs.”

Gertrude: “I read your novel last night, Gil. It’s quite good, even though I’m not a fan of science fiction.”

Gil: “I’m from the future! What seems like science fiction to you is just ordinary life to me.”

Gertrude: “Here’s a tip: try writing when you’re not hung over.”

Hemingway: “Gil, meet Adriana, the most beautiful and inaccessible woman I’ve ever met. Someday I’ll get her out of this box and make her mine.”

Gil: “You want to borrow some scissors?”

Adriana: “Gil, Hemingway is a brute. It’s you I really love, which you’ll only discover after you find my diary in a 21st-century book stall along the Seine.”

Gil: “This time travel thing is great. Now I know your favorite color and everything.”

Adriana: “Gil, maybe this won’t work after all. You’re not nearly as much fun as Bill and Ted were.”

Hemingway: “San Dimas High School football RULES!”

Inez: “Gil, I’m sick of you disappearing every night with your literary friends and spending all day rewriting your novel.”

Hemingway: “Gil, I can’t believe you don’t know your lollipop-head fiancée is cheating on you.”

Gil: “Dude, you tried to go hunting with someone who lives in a box. I’m the only sane, virtuous character in this entire movie.”

Hemingway: “Are you kidding? You’re having an emotional affair with an entire era. It’s creepy. Have you considered psychoanalysis?”

Gil: “What do you think this is, a Woody Allen movie?”

Inez: “You’re weird and I don’t love you anymore.”

Gil: “I’m so mad I could rob a bookstore.”

Hemingway: “EXACTLY.”

Gil: “Well, I guess now that I’m single again I’m free to stay in Paris and ogle young women at the flea market.”

Gabrielle: “I’m young and nubile and I know who Cole Porter is!”

Gil: “I win at sublimating Woody Allen.”

Dinosaur: “I’m Godzilla!”

Gil: “Please get off my face.”

Dinosaur: “Who’s up for Toy Story 4?”

FIN

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