Singin' in the Rain

Singin' in the Rain ★★★★★

This was my first time seeing Singin’ in the Rain in a theater and it was fantastic. As soon as Kelly, Reynolds, and O’Connor turned around and started singing during the opening credits, I had a big smile on my face that stayed with me throughout the movie.

My favorite song from the movie is actually “You Were Meant for Me”. It’s a beautiful representation of two people on the cusp of love, playful yet innocent in an endearing display of affection. I also admire how the musical number is set up as a deconstruction of movies itself; as Kelly introduces each set element into the song, we are consciously made aware of how lighting, staging, and props affect our mood. Nevertheless we disregard all the set’s imperfections and are transfixed due to the chemistry between Reynolds and Kelly.

I noticed much more of the humor, which also helps develop the characters when away from the musical set pieces. The situational comedy surrounding Lina Lumont’s ineptitude on set provides great laughs about the technology of filmmaking.

I was also amazed at Debbie Reynolds’ performance. She was a teenager without any dance background and she held her own against industry heavyweights O’Connor and Kelly. She also portrays Kathy Selden with a youthful innocence that contrasts wonderfully with Don Lockwood’s growing cynicism and discontent with the Hollywood machine.

Gene Kelly also deserves a major shout out for putting on a clinic on how to direct, act, sing, and dance; he did everything at an incredibly high level. I still can’t believe he filmed the “Singin in the Rain” number with a 103 degree fever. There are some cultural blemishes that I definitely noticed during this viewing: the extras in blackface during one of the studio scenes, the creepy line “and she’s over sweet sixteen” in the Beautiful Girls number.

Ultimately, I think Singin’ in the Rain is as close to perfection as you get. I fell in love with it yet again.

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