Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Something about hard times, it seems, that makes people want to watch movie musicals. Last weekend Disney’s High School Musical 3 was our nation’s top-grossing film.

I can get into the genre. My all-time favorite movie musical – hands down – is the French Umbrellas of Cherbourg, with Catherine Deneuve, about love unfulfilled. Unbelievably stylized in rich, brilliant colors, every single word of this heartbreaking tale is lightly sung (making the heartbreak all the more breaking). ie: comment ça va monsieur Mailman.

Then of course, Hair. Can’t go wrong.

I can easily get into Rent, because it taps into a deep-rooted romantic notion that I have about being an artist and struggling. And it gets me crying, it does.

But what I cannot get into is Across the Universe. Made in 2006, and all set to Beatles songs sung by the actors, the movie aims to be something between Hair and Rent. The story is about a Brit who comes to the US in the 60s, falls in love, his friend is drafted, his girlfriend becomes an anti-war activist and after some strife, love reigns. Julie Teymour directs. So bad. A string of sentimental music videos. Schlock.

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