I knew this movie wasn't for me the minute that song-along started and brought forth a ton of over-produced, grating Europop that was too sincere to be a joke but too awful to be an earworm. I'm sure people like this, but the film is a confusing satire of excess in the music industry to the point that even its running time lasts much longer than it should. I miss when Will Ferrell was able to pull movies like this off. He came so close this time, but alas the neverending maze of subplots got to him first. What a shame.
If you're a writer like me, there is something to be said about a good screenplay. Even if I'd argue that this is just translating a stage play to film, it manages to do so with such a triumphant force, managing to turn every bit into a memorable, iconic piece of acting that should define every one of these actors' career. It's amazing to see Jack Lemmon play someone so desperate, so eager to be more than the good guy…
When approaching an older musical (or film for that matter), it's hard to not just fall into the "Yes, But." Category. To appreciate classic cinema is to overlook various ideals that have since become dated and look embarrassing. There's art beneath these ideas and to tear away the issues is to remove the artist's intentions. Recently, I watched Carousel, which was such an offensive attempt to turn a sexist male into a compassionate protagonist (his big revelation? Coming back to…
I saw it at an advanced screening (supposedly "the first audience"). I was chosen to be part of the focus group after and when asked whether the film was Excellent, Very Good, or Good, I put down Good. When the curator asked us to raise our hands for these individual selections, I was the only one who raised his hand for Good, making me the lowest rated person there.
It was quite an experience because the issue with Good is that you take no fault in it, yet there isn't anything to praise either, which made me being singled out all the more interesting.