What Midnight in Paris Taught Me
Start writing a post
Entertainment

5 Things "Midnight In Paris" Taught Me About Life

"You'll never be satisfied in the present if you're wishing for the past."

562
5 Things "Midnight In Paris" Taught Me About Life

****(THERE WILL BE SPOILERS SO DON'T READ IF YOU PLAN ON WATCHING THE MOVIE)****
Paris.

The famous City of Love filled with glamour, beautiful architecture and, of course, the romance.

You can't help but fall in love while walking down the busy Parisian streets. The overwhelming aroma coming from the pastries that hit you as you walk down the sidewalk. Or the sounds of the musicians filling your ears as they play in the park. Or the people filling the air with laughter as they leave the little corner cafe. It makes you want to walk down the street on a beautiful night while its pouring rain out or go to every museum there is in sight. It's new and exciting and leaves you wondering what kind of surprise will be on the next street.

Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris portrays the serene city life perfectly, making you feel as if you are truly walking through the different markets or pondering over the different paintings. Not only does it make you want to hop on a plane ASAP, it causes you to have a completely different outlook on life. Each time I watch it, I find a different thing that it has taught me.


1. Embrace your passions.

Throughout life, we find different things that we show interest in and care about. Maybe you're passionate about photography or collecting pins from around the world. Whatever it is, don't be afraid to go 110% in with it. Passion's are about creating and trying to achieve a dream of yours and all Gil wanted to do was write a book about "a guy who owns a nostalgia shop". This is what he was heartfelt about and what he was willing to put all his time into but time and time again was shut down.

Passions are about not giving up even if most people don't understand. Passions are about believing anything could be possible and making it possible. Passions are struggles and overcoming them one step at a time. Passions are for growth in character. Passions show what's important to you. Why throw away something you care about because the people around you don't share the same interests?

2. Don't settle for 'comfortable.'

As we all know (or if you haven't seen this movie, sorry... spoiler), at the beginning of the movie Gil's engaged to Inez but at the end of the movie he walks the streets of Paris as a single man. (no matter how much I love Rachel McAdams, this decision was necessary...I don't think Gil, let alone anyone, would be able to handle her snobby, nagging character for his whole life anyway)

Gil decided to end his engagement with Inez because they wanted different things. He also wanted someone to support him and accept the things he cared about. This decision wasn't easy and took lots of wandering around Paris at night as well as meaningful talks with literary heroes, but it worked out. Even though he loved her and wanted to marry her at one point, he knew that this "comfortable bubble" had to burst. He had to let her go and start a new path for himself.

The decision he makes shows its okay to stray away from your comfortable circle. It's okay to let go of the past if it's just holding you down instead of pushing you towards the future. The hardest part of this decision is the realization that you have to take a stand. It's even harder when there's the possibility of hurting someone else. Don't hold on to toxicity only because they were with you during a part of your life where you took a big leap or went through hard times. Comfortable doesn't mean permanent.

3. Surround yourself with people who inspire you.

I find this to be one of the most important things I've learned in life. You'll never feel fully satisfied in life if you are surrounding yourself with people who don't inspire you. Gil stayed true to himself and what he loved. He surrounded himself with people who would bring him up instead of tearing him down and as a result, had inspiration and happiness. Being around these famous and talented writers (that he had dreamt for so long of being) motivated him to want to finish his book. Inspiration brings motivation. If you are constantly hanging around with people who would rather do anything that helps you with your passions, then they aren't the right people. They won't participate in the things you care about, they'll ignore what you say and they won't find interest in what you're saying.

If hanging out with writers that are imaginable and free-spirited, or hanging out with people who could read six books in one day or maybe they love to just hang around at home and watch all the movies in the world, no matter who you find yourself more comfortable with, I hope those same people are also the ones who inspire you to do the things you love and are passionate about.

4. Be with someone who doesn't bring you down.

Like I previously stated, Gil was engaged to a woman who couldn't care less about what he loved and wrote about. All she cared about was the things money could buy, or rather what her father could buy for her. She constantly would bring Gil down and couldn't understand WHY he was writing about a nostalgia shop or why he wanted to walk around Paris in the rain.

Gil was someone who enjoyed and appreciated the little things in life. Old school.

Inez only cared about herself and money. Materialistic.

Why associate yourself with people who bring you down and tear you apart? Why make yourself constantly feel negative towards yourself? Coming from prior experience, I've dealt with some rocky friendships and relationships. Slowly (but surely) I've learned to respect myself and surround myself with the right people instead of constantly feeling like the issue. Gil didn't realize how toxic and draining Inez and her family was. He decided he'd rather surround himself with the encouraging and inspiring writers of the 1920's or the record shop girl he met while looking at all the different markets. He decided to prioritize and care about himself, just like you should too.

5. Live in the moment.

The biggest lesson in Midnight in Paris is that you have to be present and live in the moment. The magic of the past is what Gil longed for in life. My favorite moment in the movie is when Gil goes with Adriana to her golden age Belle Époque. He doesn't understand why she would be longing for another time period when she lives in the best one. She then explains that the 1920's isn't the best time period and that she always had wished she lived during the Belle Époque. This is when Gil realizes that no matter who you are and where you're living, you're always going to long for a different place. Eventually, living in the 1920's in Paris will become your "regular" life and then you'll start to long for a time before then.

You'll never be satisfied in the present if you're wishing for the past.


Gil says "If you stay here though, and this becomes your present then pretty soon you'll start imagining another time was... Yeah, that's what the present is. It's a little unsatisfying because life's a little unsatisfying."

You have to learn to live in the moment or else life will never be fulfilling. This was the eye-opening moment in the movie, when Gil, who was writing a book about a NOSTALGIA shop, finally learned to accept the present instead of long for the past. I believe when we start to love the moment we're in, that's when we will be the happiest in life.
The best part of the movie was getting to watch Gil grow as a character. We watched him experience the true ups and downs of an unhealthy relationship and we watched him find his passion. We watched him mature and grow confidence. We watched him become the true form of himself instead of him wanting to please everyone else around him.

Not only did I love watching him grow, I felt like I changed during that movie. I felt my eyes open to the possibilities of different things. I learned to live in the moment and stop wishing for a different life. As much as I would love to travel to 1920's Paris and have a chat with F. Scott Fitzgerald or Ernest Hemingway, I wouldn't trade this life for anything. One day, there are going to be people wishing they lived during my lifetime.


"I believe that love that is true and real creates a respite from death. All cowardice comes from not loving, or not loving well, which is the same thing." -Ernest Hemingway, Midnight in Paris
Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Robert Bye on Unsplash

I live by New York City and I am so excited for all of the summer adventures.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The invention of photography

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

168027

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers

1628109

Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

1019192
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

927786
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

605758
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

389217
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

502369

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments