Saturday, January 22, 2005

Ok, first off, I must admit that I did not see this movie in the best of moods. I was worried about my HIV test, my ex-bf was leaving, I'm unemployed, etc, etc, etc. So, with that in mind, read on.

This film is based on the life of Cole Porter. He was a very famous composer-lyricist in New York in from the twenties all the way through the fifties. I saw the trailer and it featured some famous pop stars singing some of his songs in the flick (kind of as background noise almost), so I figured it would be a "flick with music" kind of thing. But I was wrong. This is a full-fledged musical. No doubt about it. Everybody sings. Sadly, even Ashley Judd (no, she did not inherit her mother and sister's vocal talents). I found it a somewhat unbalanced film, and ultimately unsatisfying.

It's actually gets to a fantastic start, you see Porter staging his life as if it were a stage musical, he's in the theater and it looks as if they're rehearsing. The first scene in which Ms. Judd magically walks from the stage into Porter's life is just gorgeously conceived. Sadly, it gets kind of boring from there.

There are a few things I just didn't get from this film. First of all, WHY on earth does Ms. Judd's character love Cole Porter so damn much? I mean I think they never really build their relationship. They meet, walk around a little, fuck and WHAM!, she wants to live with him in spite of his being, sadly, REALLY gay. Hahaha. That's just bizarre (i.e. not believable). And if the central relationship never works, then the film fails to make sense. Being the undaunted show queen I am, I had read about Porter's life before and I honestly found it sort of depressing and in no way material for a movie or musical. This movie kind of proved my point to me. Kevin Kline is amusing, as always, as Porter. Ms. Judd is pretty good also, you just never understand why her character goes through so much heartache in the first place, but that’s not completely her fault.

Some of the musical numbers are quite nice. Alanis Morrissette ROCKS in her tune; also, the whole "So in love" sequence (in which Ashely Judd's character is too ill to accompany Porter to the premiere of "Kiss me Kate") is just heart-breaking and BEAUTIFUL! If only the rest of the movie was this involving. Others are total duds, like Sheryl Crow's and the one on the movie lot.

One thing I'm glad this movie does- sort of- convey is the fact that Porter's lyrics were absolutely astonishing. They were miles ahead of the rest for they class and sophisticaction. During his Hollywood years, you see L.B. Mayer ask Porter to "dumb-down" his lyrics for the masses. Typical! I invite you to hear the music from his shows and experience what being a master songwriter is. I had the luck to cath "Kiss me Kate" in it's last New York revival and it was a trully enchanting experience. Cheers to you, Cole!


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