Sunday, December 6, 2009

Movie: An American In Paris

I never saw this before.

Is that illegal?

I've seen many of the musical numbers, of course, on those television specials celebrating Hollywood. I suppose that those left me with the impression that I'd actually seen the movie. So when we got to Stanford Theatre and got into the first few minutes, I was startled to realize that I hadn't. And as the movie went on, I was more startled to realize, hey, this thing has a plot!

Yes, yes, I'm sure that all of you knew that. But I didn't. I tend to assume that musicals have no plot. And even as the contrary data points pile up (most recently, South Pacific), I continue to make that assumption.

But indeed, there is a plot. The artist. The pretty girl. The competition for the pretty girl's affections. The competition for the artist's affections. The misunderstandings.

It's all very nice, and I did of course root for the right romance, but I have something to confess: My favorite character is Adam Cook, the grumpy pianist, played by Oscar Levant, the grumpy (and very famous) pianist. When Oscar Levant was on the screen - he's in the center in that photo up there - he was the one I watched, no matter how sparkling everyone else's repartee or footwork.

So it's a big, grand, classic movie, but now I just want to see more of Oscar Levant.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

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