Thursday, May 28, 2009

5/22/09: Easter Parade (1948)

We were overdue for a musical. Well, there's nothing like a plotless movie—even a musical—to make you appreciate how important a story is. Although it possesses only the barest wisp of a plot, Easter Parade gets by on its dazzling colors, superb costumes, fun songs and terrific dancing. Those elements alone make this Fred Astaire movie worth seeing. As for the storyline, it's your basic A loves B, B loves C and C loves D scenario. After parting ways with his longtime stage-show partner (Ann Miller), Fred hires the first dancer he finds (Judy Garland) to replace her. Cue the orchestra!

This is officially the first non-Wizard of Oz movie I've ever seen to feature Judy Garland. Now 26 and nearly a decade older, she no longer has the same juvenile appeal—I know she was incredibly beloved as an adult and considered very beautiful by the masses, but she's just nothing to look at from where I'm sitting. (Those lips are too plump and pouty, and she tends to scowl.) Ann Miller, on the other hand, is a sexy, sophisticated dish. My favorite bits of Easter Parade were the parade of hats at the beginning and Fred's astonishingly well-rehearsed toy-store dance. The Irving Berlin songs are all lovely, although not one of them serves to advance the plot. Rating: 3/5.

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