The main theme of the movie is nostalgia. Gil Penter, protagonist of the movie, is a Hollywood screenwriter who idolizes Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and many other great writers and artists from the 1920s. He feels dissatisfied with his present way of living, and fantasizes that he lived in Paris with many of the greatest writers and artists at that time. In the movie, he inhabits two worlds, the present and the past, which leaves him very conflicted and confused. He is also attracted to a girl of 1920s and feels disconnected with his finance he is going to marry soon. But by the end of movie, he suddenly has an epiphany, which makes him realize that it is an illusion to think that the past is better than the present; he must get rid of this myth about the past in order to become a good writer.
Everyone, more or less, feels nostalgic and sentimental sometimes in his or her life, longing to go back to the “good old day”. We tend to idealize and yearn for the past and feel a deep dissatisfaction about the present. But think about it, who really wants to live in a past era when there were no antibiotics, no air conditioners, no TVs and cell phones? People feel the warm glow of the past, because they tend to remember good things and forget the unpleasant moments of the bygone era. I am sure that our era will someday become a “golden age” for some people in the future. So we must learn to live in the present and cherish the moment in order to feel happy and fulfilled.