Set in a small town during the 1930s, The Purple Rose of Cairo tells the story of Cecelia, a movie-lover who dreams of a better life. Trapped in a dead-end job where she must provide for her deadbeat and abusive husband, Cecilia's one release is cinema. She finds herself entranced by the latest attraction, a screwball comedy named The Purple Rose of Cairo, returning to the theater day after day. During one of her visits, the main character of the film, Tom Baxter, pauses in the middle of his dialogue and begins to talk to Cecelia. He proceeds to climb out of the movie. Free from the chains of the narrative storytelling of Purple Rose, Tom accompanies Cecelia on a tour of the town with the two of them falling in love with one and other. Woody Allen's The Purple Rose of Cairo is an inventive, charming experience that effectively blurs the boundaries between cinema and the real world. Allen embraces these differences, capturing how naive and simple Baxter's character is when taken away from confines of his fictional world. The Purple Rose does great job of playing with the idea of a fictional character trying to adjust to life in the real world. From Baxter's attempt to use fake money, to his attempt to start a car without a key, the film is full of clever moments throughout. Outside of the film's clever set-up, The Purple Rose of Cairo is very much a film that celebrates the power of cinema and its ability to provide an escape from the grind of everyday existence. That being said, it also captures the differences between the movies and real life, where life is never quite as simple and straight-forward. Cecilia is a woman whose been walked over all through her life and her interaction with film is what eventually empowers her to stand up for herself. Woody Allen's The Purple Rose of Cairo is a whimsical throwback to 1930s cinema, providing a truly unique, entertaining, and heartfelt experience that really captures the love-hate relationship many have with movies, particularly romantic comedies.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.