Story: During the depression, a down on her luck waitress goes to the movies, only for the fictional character to leap off the screen and fall in love with her.
Why You Should See It: Woody Allen considers “The Purple Rose of Cairo” his best film. Although I don’t agree, I understand why. It’s thematic to all his works, the balance of fantasy and reality is modern man’s greatest plight.
Think of your struggles these days. You can’t tell the difference between what’s real and what isn’t. Someone you met on Facebook may not be the person you thought they were. The news about Syria may be inaccurate. The stock market reports are not consistent. You don’t know what’s right and what’s wrong anymore.
Mia Farrow deals with the same duality. A dashing, charismatic guy is in love with her but he’s not real. The actor who plays the guy, the real guy, comes from Hollywood and also falls in love with her, but is he really into her or is he playing her? She thus has to make a choice between fantasy and reality.
The ending of “Purple Rose” is the most gutwrenching of all Woody Allen’s films. We always, always, always have to face reality at some point. For a movie to say that is a tremendous achievement. Only a few years later, this film would be remade into an Arnold Scwharzenegger action film, “The Last Action Hero.” But it is rumored that Woody himself stole the concept from an old silent film, “Sherlock, Jr.” It doesn’t matter, I Can’t Believe It’s On YouTube.
Written by: Norith Soth