Bye Bye Birdie

There’s some marvelous stuff happening here. A beautiful lens on the plasticene world of mid-60s white Americana. Some stunningly realized musical numbers that pop off the screen. Plus the preternatural phenomenon that is Ann Margaret, who is such a powerful screen presence it’s impossible to look away from her beauty. But it’s all assembled with such a poverty of plot, character development and overall care for the basics of how to keep a movie audience entertained. Whatever assets it has going for it are effectively thrown on top of a narrative trash heap. Not even worth the bother.