The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)

PG   |    |  Comedy, Fantasy, Romance


The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) Poster

In New Jersey in 1935, a movie character walks off the screen and into the real world.

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7.7/10
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23 November 2010 | secondtake
8
| 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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