"Yessir, you got yourself a problem all right. Worst dang goose infestation I ever seen."


"Yessir, you got yourself a problem all right. Worst dang goose infestation I ever seen."

MIDNIGHT IN PARIS

The Abridged Script

EXT. PARIS

We get an establishing shot of Paris. Followed by four hundred thousand establishing shots of Paris.

OWEN WILSON

Hi, I'm Woody Allen. Wait - fuck. Start over.

(pause)

Hi, I'm Owen Wilson, a neurotic screenwriter who wishes he lived in the Jazz Age so badly it colors his life and his work. So obviously, NOT Woody Allen.

RACHEL MCADAMS

For God's sake, Owen. When are you going to grow out of this?

OWEN WILSON

Grow out of what?

RACHEL MCADAMS

You know. The things you like, and do, and say, and are. I honestly can't even pretend to be interested in any of it.

OWEN WILSON

You can really see why a good-looking, successful screenwriter is engaged to a girl like you!

RACHEL MCADAMS

Oh look, there's Michael Sheen. He's much, much better than you in every way. Michael, meet my worthless screenwriter fiance.

MICHAEL SHEEN

Screenwriting, I see. It's like normal writing, but for worthless hacks, right? What are you working on at the moment?

OWEN WILSON

Uh, I'm actually writing a semi-autobiographical novel about a guy who wishes he lived in the 1920s.

MICHAEL SHEEN

Ah yes, a common defect of pathetic cowards.

OWEN WILSON

Wow, you're incredibly obnoxious. I mean literally, I don't find it credible that such a rude egomaniac could be regarded as a dashing gentleman.

RACHEL MCADAMS

Hey, how about we change the entire itinerary of our vacation to revolve around this one douche we ran into?

OWEN WILSON

You go ahead, but I'd rather stroll the streets randomly, or scrape off my face with broken glass, or pretty much anything really.

He wanders the streets, then at midnight gets transported back to the 1920s.

OWEN WILSON

Holy shit, I've gone back in time! And the first person I see is Cole Porter! Huh, is this going to be one of those time travel movies where every single person I meet-

TOM HIDDLESTON

Hi, we're Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.

OWEN WILSON

BUH! FITZGERALDS MUH GUH!

TOM HIDDLESTON

Oh how charming you are, we must be instant friends. Have an Ernest Hemingway.

COREY STOLL

Hello, I'm an extremely broad caricature of Ernest Hemingway. Man, war, death, honor, et cetera.

OWEN WILSON

HEMINGWAY SQUEEEE! Read my book, pretty please!

COREY STOLL

Anything for a gawking, barely-coherent fanboy I've known for thirty seconds. Here, I'll have Gertrude Stein critique it for you, that won't be a massive waste of her time or anything. Gertrude?

KATHY BATES

Okay, let's have a look. "Once upon a time-"

MARION COTILLARD

Wow, it's brilliant! I'm so hot for you right now, Owen.

OWEN WILSON

So, every person I speak to is insanely famous, they all love me at first sight, and a super-hot French chick suddenly wants to do me. I take it I've gone not to the real 1920s Paris, but instead slipped into the idealised picture-book version which exists only in my own head? How metaphysical.

MARION COTILLARD

No, it later gets confirmed you literally time travelled back to the actual 1920s.

OWEN WILSON

Ah. So, just contrived wish-fulfillment bullshit, then. Well, as long as we're being contrived, I might as well return to the present and find your seventy-five-year-old diary at some random street stall.

He DOES THAT. Also an incredibly attractive stranger agrees to sit down translate it for him, because at this point FUCK IT WHY NOT.

CARLA BRUNI

"Dear Diary, even I have to point out how head-scratchingly bizarre it is that I'm ditching virile geniuses like Hemingway and Picasso for a touristy dweeb like Owen Wilson."

OWEN WILSON

Wow, my name really is in there! Apparently I didn't even scan the text to see if I showed up. Weird.

CARLA BRUNI

"P.S., I'd totally have sex with Owen if he gave me some earrings." Well, should I keep reading, giving you a unique opportunity to learn about your own future?

OWEN WILSON

Nah, we're not going to explore that. Instead I'm going to use information from Marion's private diary to manipulate her into sleeping with me, because apparently I'm a fucking monster.

INT. HOTEL ROOM

OWEN WILSON

Whoops, I forgot to get those earrings for Marion! Considering the entire plan was "get Marion earrings", it would seem I'm also a fucking moron. I could leave it til next time, but as a monster/moron, I might as well just steal some earrings from Rachel.

He does, but she immediately gets home and discovers the earrings missing. Time for HIJINKS!

RACHEL MCADAMS

I shall call the hotel detective!

OWEN WILSON

Wait, uh, here they are.

RACHEL MCADAMS

Oh. Never mind then.

OWEN WILSON

Welp, that was certainly worth our time. Now onwards to infidelity!

EXT. STREET

MARION COTILLARD

Wow, earrings! Just like from my private thoughts! I'm so in the mood to - OH LOOK A HORSE AND CARRIAGE LET'S DO THAT INSTEAD!

OWEN WILSON

Aw, what the hell, unexplained time travel? I thought you were my bro! Not cool!

They take the cockblock express back to the 1890s.

MARION COTILLARD

Gee, we went back in time. Whattayaknow.

OWEN WILSON

Jesus, Marion. I know "low-key" is kind of your thing, but at least cock a fucking eyebrow or something.

They proceed to, of course, run into a bunch of super-famous dudes. At least these ones are actually French.

MARION COTILLARD

Hey, I just got offered a job making costumes for the ballet after three minutes of conversation! I guess time travellers can just have whatever the hell they want, huh? Anyway, I'm staying in the 1890s!

OWEN WILSON

You have no choice, you automatically get sent home at dawn...would be a reasonable thing for me to point out right now. Instead I'll just explain this epiphany I just had: you can't fantasise about some nonexistent perfect time and place, it's just a way to escape reality.

MARION COTILLARD

...Oh, that's it? Um. Michael Sheen said exactly that in the first ten minutes of the movie. This is really your big character-changing discovery?

OWEN WILSON

Yup.

(pause)

This is the dramatic climax of the film, by the way.

Owen goes home, breaks up with his fiancee and decides to stay in Paris, meaning that now he actually has a more established life in the twenties than modern day, but whatever.

OWEN WILSON

So that about wraps it up for Woody Allen's Lost Generation fanfic. Sure it was trivial and went nowhere, but at least it contained a valid moral: you have to live in the real world, not some daydream fantasy.

HOT YOUNG FRENCH CHICK

Hi Owen, you're a Cole Porter fan so I love you! Want to go for a stroll in the Parisian rain?

OWEN WILSON

DO I!

They fly away on a unicorn while the film's message sobs quietly in a corner.

END.

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