Tuesday, May 5, 2009

"Back home everyone said I didn't have any talent. They might be saying the same thing over here but it sounds better in French."

Well, welcome back.  I'm finally able to get the opportunity to write for this blog on a regular basis again... which means it should end pretty soon.  But with the semester winding down, I can get down to the basics: research, exercising, and writing for this blog (hopefully in that order!).  So this review dabbles with one of my secret passions: the musical.  There's just something about them that really keeps my butt in the seat.  I guess because I grew up seeing a musical almost once a year for a long time meant that I grew accustomed to the genre, whether on stage or on television.  And I'm amazed I had never seen this musical until now, An American in Paris.

Pretty simple story: American artist in Paris who's trying to make a living selling his works gets taken in by a socialite who falls for him.  Artist falls for another girl who's engaged to French singer.  Artist's neighbor is struggling concert pianist who's friends with singer and realizes that the artist and singer are in love with the same woman.  Artist expresses his love to girl at party, being overheard by singer.  Girl walks away with singer, while artist dreams about what it would be like to see all of Paris with girl but is awoken from daydream by carhorn because the car brings the girl back to artist, and they embrace one another in only a way 1950s musicals show romantic embraces.

Now I wasn't sure what to think of this film.  I love Gene Kelly, a multi-talented actor who can sing and dance.  Combine that with George and Ira Gershwin music, and I'm sold on the idea.  I thought the SO might get into it for the dancing, especially the big number at the end, but she looked like she was having a root canal done, her face contorted in ways I didn't know were possible for the human face.

Of course the plot was predictable but the music was what keeps you wanting more.  And because I did experience Paris for a bit, I did reminisce about my time over in Europe.  But I didn't see an American artist dancing in the streets to the tune of "I Got Rhythm."  That's probably the major difference between the movie and real life.  Anywho...

Solid four-star movie that was just released on Blu-ray, it's something that truly needs to be seen, and if I need a Gene Kelly fix, I know I have another choice (after Singin' in the Rain, of course!).  Good pick from TCM's 31 Days of Oscar, I would see if it's on the network again, so go see it...come on, go...I mean it!  Later!

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