Aneesh Chaganty

Movie #139 The Purple Rose of Cairo

In Uncategorized on February 17, 2011 at 1:57 AM

Movie #139 The Purple Rose of Cairo

(1985, US, d. Woody Allen)

I was very touched by this little Woody Allen film. Not only a sweet romantic comedy, the film features real characters going through believable situation, even through its unbelievable premise. It manages to not make the abusive husband seem like a good-for-nothing fool. It manages to not make a love story between a fictional character and a real woman seem cheesy. And finally, it manages to make situations we’ve seen over and over seem funny and genuine. The film is about a unloved and abused wife (played by Mia Farrow) during the Great Depression who watches movies so much that one day, her favorite character notices her and jumps out of the screen and pursues a romantic endeavor. This, of course, causes outrage with the producers, the owners of the theater, the press, as well as the people of the United States. But while the story concerns itself with that, it raises a beautiful question: Is a fictional life better because it’s perfect? Or is a flawed life better because it’s real? Allen’s dialogue, like always, is brilliant and Mia Farrow provides a strong anchor to this quiet and somewhat under-the-radar film with a beautiful and heart-breaking ending.

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