The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)

The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) — I really dug this movie.  Mia Farrow plays a waitress in a crappy marriage (to Danny Aiello) during the Depression. She finds escape in the local cinema, watching their latest feature The Purple Rose of Cairo over and over again. Through a high concept plot development, a handsome and charming supporting character from the film (Jeff Daniels) climbs out of the film to be with her. The film rides the one joke for pretty much its whole running time but it’s very entertaining the entire way through. Further complications arise when the actor who played the role (also Daniels) also falls for Farrow leading to her choice between a real life person and his idealized counterpart. The movie tiptoes around big ideas like the nature of existence and mostly just lightly explores the dichotomy of reality and fantasy in the humorous manner that Woody Allen explores most things. Allen has said this is his favorite of his own films and while I don’t share that opinion (mine is still Manhattan) I can certainly accept it.

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