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 <email@example.com>
According to the Cannes Film Festival website, Woody Allen said of this film when it played there in 1985: "The seduction of fantasy, as opposed to the pain of real life, is a theme that has appeared in my work time and time again. This was something I never realized. It was pointed out to me by critics and friends over a period of years. The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) is apparently my latest expression of this idea. (Some others were Play It Again, Sam (1972), Zelig (1983), Stardust Memories (1980) and my short story "The Kugelmass Episode"). I think this time I really did this subject the most entertainingly that I ever have and if you agree, I will not bother you with this theme again. Thank you". 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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