I just caught a few minutes of my favorite movie of ALL TIME as of a year ago – Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. There are so many reasons why I love this movie. I can not begin to list them all.
The most significant lesson that grabs me every time is what draws inspiration and excitement to the main character, a writer from 2010, who passed up the opportunity to live in Paris against his better judgment and is engaged to the WRONG woman (think wrong job or career). Although he may catch glimpses of similarities and alignment with his fiancé, ultimately he is miserable.
During his time in Paris, he roams the streets at night and catches a ride when the clock strikes midnight from a vehicle from the 1920’s loaded with writers and legends from the past. These are the very characters who inspire his writing in the present (my favorite is the brilliant portrayal of Ernest Hemingway).
The vehicle takes him and a few energetic characters including writers, artists, musicians from the era, to a scene like a café or party where even more amazing icons gather (think Picasso, Matisse, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Cole Porter etc.). The writer from the 21st Century is beside himself and his luck at the opportunity to be in the midst of such greatness.
During this time, he is inspired beyond belief and also offers glimpses of the future to the icons that may or may not have inspired these characters to do the work we have all come to know (wink – Woody Allen genius).
The message that watching this movie again and inspired me to write this post, was in watching the transformation of the main character (Gil, played by Owen Wilson) who was clearly out of alignment with his authenticity when he first arrived. Through his journey into the past, learned to become himself again and make choices from his Inner self, Source or whatever you choose to call it.
In the end, he left his façade of a career and created a picture of his ideal work. And, of course, true to the romantic story telling plot, he ends up with the woman he is aligned with.
Although this story may feel like a yarn spun from the creative mind of a genius, the end results are not far from what I have witnessed in clients who have moved through the process of honestly, no-holds barred, addressed their true desires for what is MOST IMPORTANT in their work. Clarity always wins in the end.
And boy would I love running into a few of my favorite icons along the way!