At the beginning of this year I started to write a list of all the films I wanted to watch by the end of this year. I got some of the films of mum telling me that I had to watch that movie, some from my cinema studies tutes, 1001 movies you must watch before you die, and various other sources. My list contains a jumble of different films from Van Sant’s Elephant to 24 Hour Party People (one which I was thoroughly disappointed with) to Woody Allen’s The Purple Rose of Cairo, which is what I will talk about in this post, because it truly is fantastic, sometimes you just need this sense of one hour and twenty minute escapism, which is what you get from this chirpy, upbeat film about a film.
The Purple Rose of Cairo was made in 1985, written and directed by Woody Allen, who pretty much releases a film a year. To be honest I haven’t seen a large range of his films, but what he usually delivers is a short and sweet, yet quirky romantic comedy, with a Woody Allen touch that you cannot really describe until you see his films. However, he is known to have done some darker films such as Match Point. The Purple Rose of Cairo is light in most aspects apart from the abusive husband and the depressing times that the film is set in, in which our main character Cecilia gets all her joy from going to the movies and I guess in some form living through the characters that she sees to extract happiness into her life. I really enjoyed this film because it was like you weren’t even watching a film, it was kind of like watching my life in a way, well without the depressing aspects, because movie characters really are more interesting, and shed a romantic light over the everyday lives that we live. When Tom Baxter one of the charters in the film she has seen five times adresses the audience telling Cecilia that he is love with her your heart beats that little bit quicker because it is what you always dream of whenever you are watching a film and fall in love with one of the characters, why doesn’t anyone exist like that in real life? The film’s humourous side comes from the characters stuck in the film, discussing the departure of Tom from the film and how it cannot go on without him-
The film is quite delightful, as Cecilia gets taken on this adventure with a character that is romaticism embodied, the one she always wanted, as he states he’s ‘honest, dependable, courageous, romantic, and a great kisser.’ What more could you want? But of course there is conflict, conflict between the real and the imaginary, when the actor who plays Tom gets called to the scene worried about his career being stolen by his own character. Ah, I apologise if my writing is confusing you, it is quite difficult to write about a film that is about a film. Cecilia then comes to her dilemma between what is real and what is imaginary, or is it?
I like this film because I constantly get into situations where I quite awkwardly suggest what everyone and every situation would be like if it was a movie, for instance “This would be the part where…” and “This is the bit where there should be a fade…” So i guess this is why I feel an immediate attachment with this film, especially the quote: “You make love without fading out?” says the naive movie character. Please, please lets edit life, insert fades, cuts, dissolves, how much better would it be? So maybe I am getting a bit carried away because I know that some people would absolutely despise this film because it it dramatic and over the top, but really I don’t care because I feel like it represents a little bit of who I am and I wish it had never been made so I could make it myself.
I suggest watching this film when it is raining outside and your huddled up in bed under blankets and all warm and snug because it will lift you up, and wish that your life was a movie!!!!