2 January 2007 | elgrego
Debby Reynolds Sparkles, Bobby Van Sings, Bob Fosse Sings--A Nice Break From Life
My reviews often seem to be "in defense of" reviews after a group of reviews pan a movie, without really considering the genre. It is like reviewing a opera as bad when the standard being applied it a hip hop concert. Or something like that.
This movie is silly and lightweight. Folks break out singing and dancing all over the place, cuz it is an MGM musical. (I do ding it for being in black and white.)
The leads are Bobby Van and Debby Reynolds. They sing, they dance, they act as silly as can be. It is fun, it is very 50's. All is resolved in the end. It is cute. And you get to see Bob Fosse in his early days blowing everyone off of the screen with his dancing.
Great character actors abound, playing up their characters to the top, in a way that current film makers would never allow. I'm not saying I want to see lots of this kind of fluff, but as fluff it is pretty good. And the fantasy part makes me want to go back to the midwest and do college again. Well perhaps that is overstated.
Watch this to see the fun dance numbers and take a look at the Hollywood take on college in the 50's. It is a bit of an anthropological statement dressed up with some fun music. Sex,,,,Nope ya won't see that; but you do see the obsessional way that 18 year olds fall in love. And a movie that can capture that (as I remember it rather than with the rather bad parts of it) has its good moments.
Everyone is cute, everyone is white, everyone is straight (even though they sing and dance and write poetry an awful lot). If that is not you, ya got to take a bigger step or suspension of belief to become involved in the movie. The heavies are not that heavy, bad behavior is overlooked as youthful indiscretions. Looking at this view of idealized life and how it has changed in 50 years is interesting in itself. This is also one of the last of MGM's musicals. Bobby Van really did not adapt to the changing times, or at least studios did not see his potential for non-singing and dancing roles. That is a shame. Debby Reynolds is still working after the death of the musical, and Bob Fosse went stellar in spite of the death of the musical. They just kept making them for him (still do and he has been dead for about 15 years!). A good later nighter.