Last week I watched two movie classics, Funny Face with Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn, and An American in Paris with Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron. I have a few observations to share.
I used to love musicals and now I find them annoying. Though I thought this was a recent discovery, it actually dates back to when I saw West Side Story in my late teens or early twenties, in what I thought was an isolated case of annoyance due to my wondering then how I had ever been mesmerized– I originally saw the movie as a child–by a movie that was so blatantly off-base in their portrayal of urban life.
There are way too many dream song/dance sequences. I think musicals would do themselves justice if they kept the actual music to a minimum. Yes, I realize how silly that sounds. I don’t mind when the song and dance happen within the story, it’s just those silly dream sequences that force me to push the fast-forward button
BUT what bothered me the most in both flicks was the ridiculousness of the age differences.
Gene Kelly was almost 20 years older than his love interest, Leslie Caron, and Fred Astaire was 30 years Audrey Hepburn’s senior.
WHAT?! I turned off Funny Face mid-way through simply because I couldn’t deal with Fred looking like Audrey’s grandfather—YOU KNOW HE DID! I muddled through American in Paris though Gene’s character makes mention of his sponsor, played by Nina Foch, being an older woman, when in real life, Nina was 12 years younger than Gene! Outrageous! Why was the public okay with this? Especially women?