So, in this movie, COLOR! OMIGOD! COLOR! This is like the first color best picture in a decade and was directed by the guy who married Judy Garland. I smell genius! or.. enjoyable mediocracy.
Jerry Mulligan (Gene Kelley) is an unsuccessful painter who’s trying to make a living in Paris. Granted one wonders why he doesn’t look into a career in the theater, as we see he is very talented in singing and dancing, but whatever. He meets and instantly falls in love with a dancer named Lise (Leslie Caron) The only problem is that Jerry is working for a wealthy businesswoman (Nina Foch) who’s also in love with him. Now kindly take a moment to imagine what happens. Congratulations, you’ve seen An American In Paris!
I’m not kidding, this film is so predictable. We already know what’s going to happen every step of the way, and this makes the film’s relatively breezy run time seem much longer. But I’m not going to act like there aren’t some good things about this movie: what stands out is the dancing. Particularly the fifteen minute sequence near the end of the movie where Kelly uses his body to tell the story. Also to take note of is the incredible art direction. Each set looks colorful and unique, and sometimes it can be difficult to tell where the set ends and where the matte paintings begin. The film also includes some great music and a very impressive effects sequence halfway through.
This is one of those movies that has a lot of good things about it, even though the story doesn’t really work. The tale is very predictable and clichéd, but the film stands strong simply because it’s a marvel to look at. Basically it’s the Avatar of 1951.
P.S. Now we’re in the 50s, and films have never been more great and diverse, ranging from musicals to sci-fi to Hitchcock. Let’s wait and see what this decade has in store.