‘Singin’ in the Rain’ is a rare gem in that it is a movie based on a song… but that’s not the only thing that makes it original…
The plot follows the rise and rise of “triple threat” Hollywood sensation Don Lockwood (played by Gene Kelly), and the film is original for the following reasons:
- Actress “Zelda’s” enthusiastic male fan in the opening scenes invented Bieber Fever. This guy would be right at home on ‘Sunrise’ and likely put the 14-year-olds (if not himself) to shame.
- The movie, and Gene Kelly, made dancing cool before ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ was even born. If you walk away from the movie not wanting to be Gene Kelly then you are blind (in which case, what are you doing watching movies? Or, for that matter, reading this blog?).
- Gene Kelly also rocked the “ugly with glasses” look before ‘She’s All That’ added pigtails and overalls to the mix. He may have even been Inspector Gadget’s style icon.
- Starlet Lina Lamont’s gratingly “common” nasal accent could have been the inspiration for Fran Drescher’s ‘The Nanny’ (though, you might argue, they may both have been inspired by Eliza Doolittle).
- Lina Lamont also made the lip syncing faux pas long before Ashlee Simpson. How embarrassment.
- Fans of Will Ferrell will note an early ‘Mugatu’ lookalike and fans of Mandy Patinkin will recognise an early ‘Inigo Montoya’.
- Lockwood and his sidekick Cosmo Brown make for a very ‘Lano and Woodley-esque’ pairing (much to my delight), and finally
- Cosmo taught Homer Simpson everything he knows about the “crazy floor chicken”.
As much as I loved Gene Kelly, I would have to award Best Supporting Actor to Donald O’Connor in the role of Cosmo Brown. What a flippin’ champion (literally!) A quick Google tells me he won a Golden Globe for his performance (but was robbed of the Academy Award).
If you like ‘Dancing with the Stars’ you will like this film, and if you love musicals then you will love it. On the other hand, if you’re like my friend Pat, who struggles to comprehend why people would sing to each other instead of just talk, you might also struggle to enjoy this. You might even shout at the screen a little.
Fortunately for me, I fall into the former musical-loving camp. I have loved musicals since my parents took me to see ‘Phantom of the Opera’ at the impressionable age of 10, and I have seen many great ones since. I’ve seen Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane camp it up as ‘The Producers’ on Broadway and I’ve seen Hugh Jackman pash another man ‘Boy from Oz’ style (“Don’t do it Wolverine!”)
I’ve never seen ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ on stage, but I suspect that’s where it belongs. I enjoyed the film but I think I would have preferred it as a stage production to get the full impact.
I award the film 7.5 pumpkins and the unseen stage version 10 (Can you even do that? Well, I just did!)
Have you seen ‘Singin’ in the Rain’? Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments below.