This sticker is dangerous and inconvenient but I do love Fig Newtons

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Easter Parade (dir. Charles Walters -- but it's Arthur Freed who matters -- 1948)

Watched this for the first time last week. Kind of a minor musical, when you get right down to it. I always expected every Arthur Freed musical to be some kind of masterpiece, but this one had a sorta warmed-over quality to it that just never really grabbed me. Actually, it grabbed me big time and held on like a vice grip when Fred opened the film with that insane drumming/dancing number and immediately after that I was expecting a real firecrack of a film, but alas, I went into movie-watching auto-pilot until Ann Miller showed up in sassy yellow and saved the night, if only for that brief canary-colored moment. I just kept thinking: I'd much rather be watching The Bandwagon.

Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, and Miller were all awesome, as usual, and the film was pleasant, so I came away liking all three stars more than I did before, so that's something. And it was nice to hear a song I could relate to: "I was born in Michigan, and I wish and wish again, that I was back in the town where I was born" (Of course, I'm only about two miles from the town in which I was born, and I never lived on a farm, though my mom used to live at The Farm, which is the name my family gave to the house on 11 mile where they had a pony and some ducks and that was surrounded by fields and forests, but which they eventually sold to some dudes who wanted to put up office buildings, and so I guess the song isn't that relatable, but I like to hear my home state immortalized in song).

I really expected more from the "Steppin' Out" number and greeted it with a ho hum. And what exactly was Peter Lawford's character all about? Was he a law student or something? Why was he friends with all these vaudevillians? He seemed pointless, except as the "Freddy Eynsford-Hill" of the thing, and the movie did have a distinct flavor of a second-rate My Fair Lady, so I guess that's how he fits. I just find him so dang boring!

Since I'm asking all these questions to myself, I'll ask another: What is an "Easter Parade"? Was this something unique to New York city, or did other towns and cities have Easter Parades? Shouldn't these people be at church?

Seriously, though, what was the point of Peter Lawford? I guess I'm betraying my biases, but what is ever the point of Peter Lawford?

Wash out the boring with a little Ann:

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