(Review originally written at 30 November 2007)

This movie is made exactly in the same way as '40's MGM musicals were made and till some extend also '50's and '60's musicals. It also has some very typical genre story and characters. This style and atmosphere gets all the more strengthened by the fact that the movie is set in the '30's, like many other similar genre movies from the good old days. Blake Edwards really must be a big fan of the genre. But here is also were lies one of the problems of the movie. It's too old fashioned and not refreshing enough, for a late musical made in completely '40's style.

Plus the concept of the movie is in my opinion a flawed one because of the simple reason that there is no way that Julie Andrews looks believable enough as a woman who is impersonating a man playing a woman. Are you still with me? She is just way to feminine looking for that, in every regard. Her curves, her face, her arms. It's really not believable that no more people were onto this scam. I mean, this movie just ain't no "Tootsie" or "Mrs. Doubtfire", that handled this concept much better and certainly more credible. But then again, this movie of course also doesn't try to be a credible one. Just an entertaining and silly one instead. The rest of the story is a real typical genre one, that unfortunately is just not the best the genre has ever provided. It's too bad that the movie didn't do more with the homosexual and transvestite themes within the movie. Those themes within the movie now instead feel rather bland and meaningless, while the movie could had really been a relevant one by trying to make a clear statement regarding those themes. It's as if the movie was too afraid now, which makes the story a sort of a restrained one.

The comical moments in this movie show that Blake Edwards is the top of his game. It's all so incredibly well timed and executed, in a typical Blake Edwards way. What I love about Blake Edwards comedies, is that the humorous moments are always shot in such an original effective way. There's a camera, there are people in front of it and there is a situation. The moments are always filmed as if they're happening during a stage-play. The camera doesn't move and the movie doesn't have cuts. Just one long shot filled with greatly executed comedy, done by some talented actors and an even more talented man behind the camera's; Blake Edwards. To me it was mostly the comedy that made this movie worthwhile.

The movie deliberately doesn't try to impress too much, by having grand sets and spectacular shows, like musical movies that are being made this present day often are being made. I think this movie does that deliberately to be consistent with the musical movies made mostly in the '40's.

The movie gets mostly carried by Julie Andrews, who is of course at ease in the musical genre, having already made movies such as "Mary Poppins" and "The Sound of Music". She also plays a real great role in this movie. All of the characters in this movie are really fun one's and portrayed by some good actors, such as Julie Andrews but also James Garner and Robert Preston among others.

You'll mostly get a blast out of this movie if you're familiar with the old musical genre, from a time long since gone, even in 1982 already.


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About Frank Veenstra

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