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(Review originally written at 25 October 2010)

Vincente Minnelli was a director who just always kept on doing what he was best at; making charming, happy, romantic, musical comedies, even at the time the genre was already beginning to get very outdated. But he really had the last laugh with this movie. It was his most successful one and it even won 9 Oscar's.

And yes, I also was quite taken by this movie. It's far from the best or most original one within its genre but I just can't help liking about every bit of it. It's being brought all as such pleasant light entertainment that you just can't help enjoying it, no matter how sappy and ridicules the movie and its story can all get at times. It's still of course also a movie with a serious story in it but even that gets brought in a very colorful way. I even couldn't get bothered with the rather odd concept of having an older guy fall for a young teenage girl and everybody thinking that it's a completely normal and acceptable thing in this movie. Guess that it also still was, not only at the time period this movie got set in but also at the time that this movie got made.

The movie is a musical but it's a well concealed one. The musical numbers don't come and go at its predictable moments and they are also simply quite good numbers, performed by the movie its main cast. All of these moments aren't as distracting from the movie and its story as often is the case with these sort of movies. Musical numbers often tend to slow the movie down a bit. In this movie they actually help to make the movie a charming and irresistible one.

It's still being a movie that got completely done in the style of the movies from the golden era of the genre. So yes, the movie is an old fashioned one but it simply still all works well for the movie. No big surprise, considering that it had Vincente Minnelli at the helm. He's perhaps still the biggest and best known name with the musical movie genre.

Also refreshing to not see Judy Garland as the main lead for his movie for a change. They were already divorced at the time and even though he made quite a few genre movies without her, people still known the both of them for their collaborative works. But just like he had previously done with his movie "An American in Paris", he picked Leslie Caron as the main lead. And she was absolutely great and real charming. Also a great accomplishment from her that she managed to play and look like a young teenager very convincingly, even though she was already close to her 30's at the time. But even better was Louis Jourdan, who basically is always great to watch in any sort of role. Still it's surprising to see him perform and even sing in a musical movie such as this one.

Simply one charmingly entertaining movie to watch.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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