I am a big Woody Allen fan and I recently watched the film Midnight in Paris. It is Allen's most recent release and one of his most commercially successful films in a number of years. I was mildly disappointed with the film as I watched it because of the somewhat lighthearted approach the film takes. However, I had watched the classic film The Razor's Edge the night before, which I have seen several times before. Anyway, I began watching Midnight In Paris through the lens of The Razor's Edge which gave me a interesting experience.

"Midnight in Paris," intentionally or unintentionally, echoes many of the themes of Somerset Maugham's novel "The Razor's Edge." Maugham's novel was published in 1944 and quickly turned into a film starring Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, and Clifton Webb in 1946. Paris forms the backdrop for most of the story as well. The film version of The Razor's Edge is considerably more serious that "Midnight in Paris." The Clifton Webb character does provide a few moments of comedic relief.

One of the central issues raised by both films is the conflict between domestic happiness and security and a desire to live a more meaningful existence. In other words, personal happiness depends on more than domestic bliss and security. Woody Allen's philosophical approach has always been rooted in the philosophy of Existentialism that was in vogue in the 1950s and early 1960s. Maugham's novel also incorporates elements from Existentialism as well as elements from Eastern philosopher and religious experience.