Behold, for there may be spoilers for a Never Trust a Trailer movie.
A Hollywood screen writer who has the romantic wish of living in Paris... during The Roaring '20s.
- The Anti-Nihilist: Gil is bored with his life in 2010 and wishes to live in the 1920s which considers the best age. Until the end when he realizes that nostalgia does not change through the ages. Some choose la Belle Époque, some choose Renaissance and the only way to deal with the present is living in it, whether it's boring or dull.
- Audience Surrogate: Gil's expression when he found himself in the 1920s was pretty much as genuine as the audience watching the film.
- Author Avatar: Of Woody Allen. Shows the same traits of worries about death and sex, wears similar clothes and is quite neurotic.
- Born in the Wrong Century: He finds his life in the present day (2010) boring and dull, and prefers to live in the 1920s.
- Character Development: Finally realizes that nostalgia is just a mere feeling while travelling to the Belle Époque where he listens to Toulousse and his colleagues talking about Renaissance being the best age, and decides to return to the present... And that the 20's don't have antibiotics.
- The Everyman: He is an ordinary man (aside from his Hollywood status) in a very unique and surrealist situation. That was one of the main reasons Allen cast Wilson as Gil.Woody Allen: Owen is a natural actor. He doesn't sound like he's acting, he sounds like a human being speaking in a situation, and that's very appealing to me. He's got a wonderful funny bone, a wonderful comic instinct that's quite unlike my own, but wonderful of its kind. He's a blond Texan kind of everyman's hero, the kind of hero of the regiment in the old war pictures, with a great flair for being amusing. It's a rare combination and I thought he'd be great.
- I Wish It Were Real: Gil keeps wishing he was in 1920s Paris during his stay, until one midnight when an old fashioned car approaches and he is sent there.
- Nostalgia Filter: His main trait. Though Gil confesses that he wants to live in Paris, he really prefers to live in the 1920s Paris!
- Sympathetic Adulterer: His fiancee Inez is jerkass and materialistic, and prefers to listen to the Know-Nothing Know-It-All Paul over Gil. Adriana has much more in common with Gil to the point he thought she was a better choice. At the end, he doesn't choose either Inez nor Adriana. The only "adulterer" thing he did was giving Adriana The Big Damn Kiss.
Gil's girlfriend who is about to marry him and the one who has to listen to his romantic obsessions.
- Jerkass: She mistreats Gil a lot and prefers to listen to Paul when talking about culture. Look at her materialistic smile when she thought Gil was hiding a present for her.
- Disposable Fiancé: With all her jerkassery, you thought Gil was going to stay with her? No, but he didn't stay with Adriana either.
- Rich Bitch: She has lots of money thanks to her parents and isn't quite a nice person.
John & Helen
Inez's parents who have some distaste over Gil's ideas and personality.
An old friend of Inez who comes to visit Paris with his girlfriend, Carol. He apparently has a lot of cultural knowledge.
- Catchphrase: Has a tendency to finish his banal insights with "If I'm not mistaken" a lot. (Usually, he is)
- Insufferable Genius: Or something. He's a complete insufferable jerkass Know-Nothing Know-It-All who thinks he knows every single aspect of culture and Inez has him in high steem. For Gil, he is this and gives an awesome moment explaining the real intention of a Picasso painting, because he went back to the past and knew the story behind it.
- Jerkass Has a Point: He points out during the visit to Versailles that nostalgia is denial of the present and having the past as a better period. At the end, Gil learns this lesson and finally accepts the past.
- Mr. Exposition: Played for Laughs, as he is an insufferable "cultured" man, that loves to explain every cultural aspect and supposed stories behind a piece of art.
The Museum Guide
A beautiful guide and expert in Auguste Rodin whom Gil seeks for help.
- Small Role, Big Impact: She appears five minutes during the film, but helps Gil in his cultural questions. Special mention when she translates Adriana's secret diary in which Gil finally gets to know Adriana's feelings.
A sympathetic French antiquities shop owner who befriends Gil.
A young beautiful French woman and lover to Pablo Picasso and Hemingway, who comes to fall in love with Gil Pender and share the same romantic feelings of living in another age (The Gay '90s / La Belle Époque).
- Born in the Wrong Century: She wished to have lived in The Gay '90s.
- Disposable Fiancé: To Picasso, Modigliani and Gil. Of the bland perfection kind. She decided to stay in La Belle Époque when Gil suffered Character Development to stay in the present.
- I Choose to Stay: In The Gay '90s. Unlike Gil she doesn't get character development over her nostalgic wishes.
- Noodle Incident: The story of Adriana meeting a prostitute to show her all her tricks. That makes you think why she had been a lover for lots of artists.
- Nostalgia Filter: Like Gil, she's obsessed with the past. And unlike Gil, she doesn't get development and stays during the Belle Époque.
- Really Gets Around: She stayed with famous artists during her whole life like Picasso or Modigliani. Lampshaded by Gil himself comparing her with an art groupie.Adriana: (not catching the groupie joke) Pardon?
- Smoking Is Glamorous: Since her first appearance.
Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald
The famous pair of writers (him being the author of The Great Gatsby) and the first characters from the past Gil gets to meet.
- Driven to Suicide: Zelda. Almost jumps to the Seine river because she thought Scott was having a romance with a woman.
The ultimate BADASS prose writer. A Boisterous Bruiser whom Gil seeks for help in his writing abilities.
A writer and friend of Ernest Hemingway who gives good advice to Gil to finish his novel.
- Butch Lesbian: Though it doesn't focus on her homosexuality, Stein is shown some traits of it in her personality and short haircut.
- Cunning Linguist: Also speaks French, especially with Picasso.
- The Mentor: To Gil. She checks his unfinished novel and helps him to improve his writing skills, and even gives him some tips for his personal life.
- Only Sane Man: From all the characters in the 1920s, she seems to be the least eccentric one and doesn't stand Hemingway's MACHO personality.
The famous surrealist Spanish painter and friend of filmmaker Luis Buñuel and photographer Man Ray with an insane obsession with rhinoceroses.
- Badass Mustache: Dalí isn't Dalí without his moustache.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: He is always thinking about painting and... rhinoceros.
- Cunning Linguist: He talks both English and French aside from his natural Spanish and Catalonian.
- Large Ham: Loves to make himself to be noticed. Holds the distinction of Chewing the Scenery along with Hemingway."PENDERRRRRR!!"
- Mad Artist: Like his real life counterpart he is a misunderstood genius. He talks about seeing the face of Christ in a tear as an idea for a new paint and rhinoceroses.