Official count of good movie musicals: 2

Singin' in the Rain movie posterI guess I must be getting mellow in my old(er) age. For most of my life I’ve eschewed the musical movie format as being so much tacky crap. Oh sure, I dig The Wall and The Wizard of Oz, but those are givens. I’m speaking of the films that were big in my grandparents’ day – lavish sets, flimsy plot lines, and songs that were more cringe-worthy than enjoyable. In short, I had written the genre off as, well, lame. Then about five years ago I ended up getting sucked in by a cable broadcast of Chicago.

I didn’t want to admit to myself that I liked it, but I went from saying “this’ll be a good way to kill 10 minutes until I get bored” to “must..finish…watching…” I’ve since purchased the DVD and the soundtrack. I couldn’t even tell you what I love about the movie so much. The 1920s motif strikes a chord with me, though, as does the jazz score. I guess it all just comes together.

So I figured, hey, I can live with liking one musical. It shows I’ve got depth, right? Well recently I was forced to add a second film to what is now officially a list – Singin’ in the Rain. I happened upon it last week while flipping the channels (I guess I can thank the current void of first-run network shows for that) and decided to give it a shot. If nothing else, I could say I have seen it. Well I saw it and I really enjoyed it too. The horror!

What made this discovery more shocking is that this is one of those classic MGM musicals – and I figured they were all hokey and old-fashioned. I won’t bore you with a plot synopsis (the Interweb is a big place, so you can find it if you haven’t see the movie), but suffice it to say I may have to buy this DVD as well.

One thing I find curious is the connection between this movie and Chicago – the 1920s. Once again I guess I was born in the wrong decade. But other than the romanticized look at a bygone age, the dancing was pretty sweet. Yeah, I never thought I’d type a sentence like that, but it’s true. I think my jaw dropped at least a few times watching Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear a few of their moves were CGI-aided.

So what to do now? Take a chance and go watch more musicals? And if I do seek them out on purpose, what to watch?

5 Comments

  • Chris

    Yeah that probably helps. Guys and Dolls works OK too, but I can’t handle West Side Story. Especially the “gang” confrontations. Just too corny for me.

  • I think context makes Singin’ in the Rain ok… because the actors singing are playing people in the business of performing to entertain people, so it doesn’t seem so weird and out of place like it does in say… guys and dolls.

  • I think context makes Singin’ in the Rain ok… because the actors singing are playing people in the business of performing to entertain people, so it doesn’t seem so weird and out of place like it does in say… guys and dolls.

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