Cecilia is a waitress in New Jersey during the Depression and is searching for an escape from her dreary life. Tom Baxter is a dashing young archaeologist in the film "The Purple Rose of Cairo." After losing her job Cecilia goes to see the film in hopes of raising her spirits. Much to her surprise Tom Baxter walks off the screen and into her life. There's only one problem..Tom isn't real. Meanwhile Hollywood is up in arms when they dicover that other Tom Baxters are trying to leave the screen in other theatres. Will Tom ever return and finish the film or will he decide to stay in the real world? Written by
Ricky Darbonne <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Part of the movie is in black-and-white, which is all the scenes which feature the film within a film, "The Purple Rose of Cairo". The film is one of a number of pictures which were filmed in black-and-white by director Woody Allen during his immediate post-Annie Hall (1977) period between the late 1970s and early-mid 1980s. The films also include Manhattan (1979), Stardust Memories (1980), Zelig (1983) (also in color) and Broadway Danny Rose (1984). After The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), Allen would then not make another b&w film for about another six years, until Shadows and Fog (1991) in 1991. See more »
Although the film's fictional namesake has scenes filmed in the Copacabana club in New York, the club was not open until November 1940. This is not consistent with the actual film, which is set during the Great Depression. See more »
Flawless in its own way, a pure pleasure to sit back and lose yourself
The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)
There's no way you can't like the ingenuity of the movie, and the fun it has. It's about the joy of life, and love of the movies, and the difficulty to tell the difference sometimes (at least when in the theater).
In some ways this is one of Woody Allen's lightest movies, and certainly lightweight compared to the more serious movies of this period (like the stunning gem, "Another Woman"). It's not zany like his earliest comedies ("Love and Death"). And it's not deeply observant and sometimes downright moving and brilliant like his best movies (like "Annie Hall" or "Crimes and Misdemeanors"). In that way it feels like what some novelists would call an "entertainment" to distinguish from their heavier masterpieces, and sometimes these are the most readable of all. Or the most watchable.
"The Purple Rose of Cairo" is inventive, warm, and touching. It's really high brow hilarious when the people on the screen react to the situation, not only because of the existential reality shift going on, but because they are all high brow types. Then there are the everyday scenes with Mia Farrow, the lead actress in the real world (usually), and support from Danny Aiello, really just a foil for the main romances (two) going on with Farrow (singular). It's not as complicated as it sounds, which might prove the elegance of Allen's writing.
A beautiful, delicate movie without undo weightiness. Joyous, yes, even in its melancholy end.
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