I sometimes wonder whether this blog should re-identify as “What Sarah Is Watching”…since my long-ago original intention of digging deep into the connections between reading and living has taken a backseat to connections between living and everything else…Believe it or not, I have finished a few books in the last few weeks, but I don’t think I ever take as much time to process them as I intend. (“Process” as a verb still freaks me out a little, ps.) And I’m afraid that even if I did, I’d end up writing you a 5-page paper before I could refine all my thoughts. Nobody wants that.
Movies, TV shows and music videos take less time to consume and are therefore a little easier to discuss on the ol’ blog. So here we are. Another movie.
But…not just another movie.
S is for Singin’ in the Rain
I’m not really good at ranking things. Not always a good judge when it comes down to rating on a scale of 1-10. My boyfriend in high school used to expect the conversation after a movie to begin with star-ratings. I could never do it. I could tell you what I liked, and why, but I didn’t know my 3.5 from my 4-stars. My mind just doesn’t work that way. (Final and decisive aren’t often my happy place. Snap.)
If I had to choose just one movie as my all-time favorite favorite, it would be Singin’ in the Rain. (I think. Probably.)
While I’m not the best at narrowing down to #1, one thing I can do is make a mean Top 5 list. So here are five things I love about SITR:
1) This guy. We were so close to G for Gene Kelly, y’all.
I often imagine stars from the 40s and 50s as from another world. They always seem older, glamorous, almost unreal. I see many Golden Age movie stars as classically handsome, but also somehow removed from real life. This photo I found on Pinterest struck me as contemporarily sexy and stylish. Like it could be a page out of a J.Crew catalog today (which I would, if I could, tear out and hang in my locker). Classic American handsomeness. Plus the man can dance. See #2.
2) One thing I love about this movie in general is the attention to detail. There’s something colorful and expansive onscreen all the time. (And it’s 1952, so you know it’s all real.) For example, this full-on dance number is just a moment from a montage early in the film, not central to the plot besides giving some background into the characters’ early days in vaudeville, etc., and yet it’s this fully-staged, ridiculously-athletic comedic tap dance / plaid suit explosion of awesome.
Watch it and you’ll need some Gatorade and a few deep breaths:
3) After #2 you figured out that IT’S A MUSICAL!! Which, I just…love. The cheese and the camp and the contrived moments of suspended disbelief…might be some of the top complaints by people who hate musicals. But, I Am A Person Who Loves Musicals. So take that as you will.
SITR is a large-scale classic Hollywood production celebrating the art of large-scale classic Hollywood productions…(I fully loved this idea long before “meta” was in my vocabulary). During my Broadway-obsessed late teenage years, I listened to the soundtrack over and over and over. It’s funny, it’s pretty, it’s romantic, it’s uplifting, it’s larger than life.
4) How much do we love to hate Lina Lamont?! There’s no better/worse deliciously vapid starlet, and in the end she loses to the spunky brunette. (No wonder I loved this movie in high school!) The minute-long scene with her diction coach alone is worth the price of admission: “I caaaaan’t stand ‘im.”
5) A couple of years ago I got to see SITR on the big screen at The Gillioz. It felt…BIG. And I didn’t know how much that mattered, but it did. It was like seeing everything for the first time. Gonna sound old for a second, but maybe movies aren’t meant to be experienced on a handheld device—or even a 50-inch TV screen. There’s so much you miss. We forget because we’re so accustomed to small screens and constant media interaction, but films like this are really works of art. And the full-size canvas is always better than the postcard.
If you haven’t seen it, don’t wait for a screening. Sometimes a postcard-size dream-come-true is enough.