Singin' in the Rain

Singin' in the Rain ★★★★½

Is it not perfection? Every inch of celluloid delivering unimpeachable delight, casting magic spells of warmth and goodness, a flawless record of the insane talents of its cast. Is it not the peak musical? The final Hollywood studio entertainment after which only equal or lesser escapes could be made? Is it not the ‘speed of light’ barrier of movies?

Is there a single misstep? Are there any imperfections? And if so, if perhaps a performer here or there goes a little too all in on a bit, or some of the attitudes of the time feel particularly punitive towards the women (the world made Lina Lamont, love and pity her, do not scorn her) or some blemish in the airtight production is found by the wondering eye, doesn’t it only reinforce the ultimate perfection of it all?

Is there a costume, a background extra, a single piece of production design, a single shot in this that isn’t extraordinary? Is it possible that there was even one human being on this production, from catering to truck driving to gaffing, who didn’t give 100% of themselves to the perpetual motion machine that is the final product?

Movies can do many things, but one of the things they can do best is give us people who sing and dance. And this is the golden ticket. Best of the musicals. Best of Hollywood’s candied optimism. Best of the movies, period. Everything it does, it does to perfection.

Gene Kelly was a real man. Everyone else is just playing at shadow masculinity. Also, Jean Hagen is a comedic genius.

I watched Donen’s ‘Funny Face’ a few months ago feeling the need for a good musical and I found it lacking. Oh, it was fine, don't get me wrong, but it didn't actually scratch my itch. That’s why I came back to this. To the proven bullet. To the charmed movie, guaranteed to wow.

The last time I saw this I was twenty-two years old, twenty-eight years ago. I saw it in a theater at a museum in South Texas (which I remember being a very cool experience). I’m so, so glad I revisited it now.

I’m thinking of starting a podcast called, “Why haven’t you re-watched ‘Singing in the Rain’" where I berate guests weekly for not having re-watched ‘Singing in the Rain’.

The full five. Time cannot dull its shine.

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