Public relations lessons from Midnight in Paris

Midnight in Paris, Public Relations. PR Image found at

October 6, 2013

I thought I might do something a little different with this blog post. As many of you know, I’m a major movie buff.

I’ve found ways to write things about books easily, but I’ve wanted to find a way to write about the things I have learned from the movies for a long time and have never managed to do it. Nothing ever seems original. For example, I had really thought about writing this post on how Toy Story quotes teach a lot about PR, but then I found this Disney blog that basically did just that.

After spending days to decide which would be the perfect movie to write on, I chose to write on one of my favorite movies, Midnight in Paris. If you’ve never seen it before, here is the trailer and the summary by napierslogs on IMDB.

Gil and Inez travel to Paris as a tag-along vacation on her parents’ business trip. Gil is a successful Hollywood writer but is struggling on his first novel. He falls in love with the city and thinks they should move there after they get married, but Inez does not share his romantic notions of the city or the idea that the 1920s was the golden age. When Inez goes off dancing with her friends, Gil takes a walk at midnight and discovers what could be the ultimate source of inspiration for writing. Gil’s daily walks at midnight in Paris could take him closer to the heart of the city but further from the woman he’s about to marry.

Just as Gil feels overwhelmed taking on this new chapter in his life, so are many of my peers. Entering the workforce is a scary thing, so I’ve compiled a list of tips and lessons learned from the wonderful movie to make life a little easier.

  1. First is a very important lesson many of us learned the hard way. Basically, it’s okay to ask people for help and clarification. People typically want to see you succeed.

  2. “I don’t want to be a killjoy, but I need a little fresh air.” This quote, as seen in the movie and trailer, is depicting Gil Pender trying to escape from an invite for a night of dancing. This might not seem like a huge revelation, and it’s something that I am still struggling to learn how to do, but take a step back, say “no” once in a while and relax. This will lead right in to my next point.

  3. In one of the ending scenes, Owen Wilson’s character, Gil is seen talking to Marion Cotillard’s character, Adriana, about La Belle Epoque. This conversation led Gil to this quote, “Yeah, that’s what the present is. It’s a little unsatisfying because life’s a little unsatisfying.” Yes, life can be a little unsatisfying, but remember to stay positive! Even if you’re having the worst day, remember not to be rude

  4. “You’re in love with a fantasy.” Basically, this boils down to its okay to have dreams of what the ideal situation would be, but you have to be in reality as well. Remember those communications plans? The goal is to have it be a little better than this expectations vs. reality clip in another favorite film of mine, (500) Days of Summer.

  5. This is a particularly annoying clip in the movie, where Gil is unfortunately bullied into a trip to Versailles where this pedantic professor tries to prove the tour-guide wrong. Basically, just understand that nothing is really about you or how right you are. And if you make a mistake, own up to it. Something that might help you with that is this clip with the fictional Hemingway about writing.

This is only the tip of the iceberg of insights from the movie and tips on entering the workforce. Now I am going to take some time and follow the advice of point 2. If you’re looking to relax, go to whatever video store is nearby and buy it, because Netflix doesn’t have it.