I 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?