Tuesday, November 2, 2010

#182 The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)


Director: Woody Allen

Cast: Mia Farrow, Jeff Daniels, Danny Aiello, Irving Metzman, Stephanie Farrow

Cecilia is a young woman living in Depression-era America, struggling to work a waitress job to support herself and her abusive, cheating, and jobless husband. She is alone, and the only thing that gets her by are her frequent, indulgent trips to the cinema where she fantasizes about a carefree and romantic life. After seeing one particular picture, The Purple Rose of Cairo, a number of times-- the romantic hero of the film jumps off the screen and steals her away, leaving the other characters confused and moviegoers wanting their money back.

Cecilia enjoys her romance with Tom (Daniels) until her the actor that PLAYS Tom (also Daniels) comes to trick Tom back onto the big screen. A love triangle is created, and Cecilia finds herself suddenly the princess instead of the poor housewife.

This film is a comedic departure from Allen's usual New Yorkers-having-marital-problems theme, and it explores the relationship that many of us (myself included) have with Hollywood pictures. The movie still contains the great one-liners that Allen is known for, and the fun level of make-believe provides a wonderful escape--quite literally the one the film is based around.

While at first, my inclination was to back away from the cheesiness of the romance and somewhat over-the-top acting... I soon realized that it was done purposefully and with comedic intention. The carefree trip that this movie takes us on is one in which we are able to nod at our own inclinations at living vicariously through the movies that we adore.

Delightful and unexpected!

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