West Side Story ★★★★★

There's a bit of dialogue that I recall, from some film or TV show whose title eludes me right now, that goes something like 'your dad isn't a fan of musicals, except for West Side Story' And I love that, because it's a statement that is so authentically, believably true. The stereotype we all know of your average alpha male is that he isn't a fan of musicals. Even if he's a cinephile, the musical genre is not for him. Yet a bloke, specifically a bloke of a certain generation (ie someone who was a teen in the '60s), can have love in his heart for West Side Story - a musical that is as much about the flick of a knife as it is about the click of fingers.

Of course, Natalie Wood might have something to do with it too, but I've always found my own interest to lie in Susan Oakes' Anybodys....is that weird? She reminds me of an ex of mine.

Anyway, it's so tragically restrictive for your average bloke and film fan to say 'I don't like musicals' because to claim such a thing means you're missing out on some genuinely brilliant filmmaking...and West Side Story really is genuinely brilliant filmmaking regardless of its genre. It's one of the best films of its time, so who cares if they sing and dance? The story - based of course on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet - is universal and it is brilliantly conveyed, making it one of the best cinematic treats available.

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