Right after "Les parapluies de Cherbourg" delivered yet another fine musical movie. He must had not been ready with the genre yet and this time took a bit of a different approach.

It's a more traditional musical, when compared to "Les parapluies de Cherbourg". It's cheerful, colorful, less heavy on the drama and features lots of choreographed dancing sequences and characters that burst into singing, right in the middle of a conversation. It's really a musical done in the trend of '40's and '50's Hollywood musicals.

Jacques Demy probably had a big love or admiration for the genre, since it's not like the genre was still very popular or considered to be modern or very profitable at the time. It must had therefore also been a bit of a gamble to create a 1967 musical done in '40's style. But let me just say that it was a gamble that really payed off well!

It are not just the characters, or its story, musical numbers or visual style that make this movie. It are all of these things combined! It forms a beautiful and joyful whole that really works on a musical level. The many characters of the movie are all great and likable ones. Its story is also quite original but above all things also cheerful, which can also be said about its bright and colorful visual style.

Thing about its buildup and character are that you don't know who will end up with who. Usually this is of course something that is very clear, pretty much from the start on already. This is the beauty of the movie and is also what makes it a quite original one within its genre. It always keeps the story and love angles in it interesting and helps to make the characters and the movie as a whole also quite unpredictable, which is not something you could say about a lot of musicals.

Its many songs do tend to make the movie drag a little at points. Maybe it's a bit overlong but every time you think that the movie is starting to take a wrong turn, it actually eventually will be something that works out beautifully and real surprising in the end. And talking about end, things really come together beautifully in the last few minutes of this movie. Every storyline gets wrapped up, which is a real accomplishment, considering the amount of characters this movie follows.

It's not just a movie about the Garnier twins but also about their family, close friends and everyone they meet in their quest to find true love. That's what the movie is truly about really; love. Every character in this movie is basically looking for that. The ideas of true love, as presented in this movie, might come across as old fashioned now days but this of course still adds to the overall cheerful nature and charm of the movie. It's a kind of no-worries type of movie, that can make you feel really happy and warm when watching it, also thanks to its cheerful colors and songs.

To make it all the more apparent that this is a sort of ode and love-letter to the musical genre of mostly the '40's and '50's, the movie features one of the biggest musical stars of those days; Gene Kelly. Even while he was already well in his 50's, it doesn't stop him to still look as young as ever and he even does some of his characteristic dancing in this one. Yes, he's even speaking French, though in some scene's he still got obviously dubbed, most notably when he's singing. Next to him the movie is also featuring Catherine Deneuve, who also was the main star in Jacques Demy's 'other' well known musical "Les parapluies de Cherbourg".

He didn't do all of the directing alone on this one though. This time his wife Agnès Varda joined in, who already was an established director on her own at the time.

Even though I'm not the biggest fan of the musical genre, I can still appreciate and enjoy a good genre movie when I see one. And this is really one of those!


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About Frank Veenstra

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