A good morning to all y'all visiting Film Experience Land. This is JA from My New Plaid Pants pulling my head outta the dirt and waving howdy; I'm one of the lucky few chosen to spread love and wonderment here while my pal Nathaniel goes and gays up Utah a lil' bit. (sidenote: You know he travels with a life-size cardboard cut-out of Michelle Pfeiffer in that red dress from The Fabulous Baker Boys to throw on top of the nearest piano, right? A little bit of home where ever he goes.)
Anyhoo, hello. I figured now would be the perfect time to try an experiment I've been mulling in my head for a bit. If this goes well, I might just make it something recurring back in my neck o' the blogosphere. I don't know if you've heard, but I went through a little rough patch a couple weeks back. Upended my entire sense of self, it did. See, I've always been a staunch non-supporter of a certain cinematic genre. One that... well, tends to (or tended to, as the case may now be) cause fits of bloat, nausea, headaches, bleeding from the eye sockets. That genre is the Musical. Leggings, off-center top hats, sequined gloves... not for me, I said!
But then... well then I bit the bullet and watched a pair of Bob Fosse movies. All That Jazz and Cabaret, to be crystal. And... I liked them. I liked them! I liked them a lot. I smiled, I smirked... I secretly sashayed.
So what's all that got to do with today, and y'all? Well, I want you guys and dolls to make me watch a musical.
The list is short - very short - of musicals I have seen already. Disney cartoons are out; I've long been able to stomach song and dance from animated rodents. One of my favorite movies of all-time is a musical - The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. I, like every other American I would think, have seen The Wizard of Oz more times than I could count.
So how do I come up with options? Options for what you ask? I am going to give y'all the opportunity to vote between 5 different musicals, and I will watch the top 2 choices, and then I will tell y'all what I, an admitted musical novice (not just a novice, honestly, but an active hater), thought. It might not be pretty. But my Fosse-moment made me realize I've been unfair, excluding an entire genre from myself. And I need y'all to help me see what I ought to see!
I was just going to go with the Top 5 Musicals listed at IMDb as your choices to vote upon, but as I look at them this morning I think... no. I need a wider array of choices. The ones I feel an ever-so-slight hint of shame for having avoided for so long. Plus another Fosse, for good measure. I've talked enough! Let's see the choices!
Singin' In The Rain (1952) - I've seen the title song sequence - who hasn't - but none more. Gene Kelly... I don't think I've ever seen a Gene Kelly movie in my life. Stop staring at me! Put down that pitchfork. We're being forgiving here!
Top Hat (1935) - This is generally considered the best of the Fred and Ginger movies, right? Tell me again: which one is Fred and which one is Ginger?
West Side Story (1961) - Something about jazz-handy gangs and knife-dances and Natalie Wood playing ethnic, right?
My Fair Lady (1964) - My love for Audrey Hepburn actually had me try to watch this movie once before, but so great was my hatred for 'Enry 'Iggins that I had to stop watching. This one I included because it guarantees a vitriol-laced rant from yours truly if forced to sit through the entire thing. This movie might eat my brains.
Sweet Charity (1969) - Fosse! Did you know Bob Fosse only directed five films? And two of them aren't musicals? That's what IMDb is telling me anyway. I plan on seeing both Lenny and Star 80 some time, but for the fifth and Fosse-inflected spot in this list, that leaves us the Shirley MacLaine starring Charity. Which I know zero zilch nada about. I like Shirley, though!
So bring it on! Voting will end tomorrow morning - so I can throw the winners into my rental queue and get them on time to watch and review before Nathaniel is back next week (Netflix turnaround and all) - and I will tell y'all what I thought of the two top vote-getters over the next few days. Choose wisely, my friends! This is four plus hours of my life we're playing with!