Much of Cole Porter’s life story, told in part as a theatrical production.
There are many good things about this movie, so let’s get them out of the way before the reality police show up…the script was good, the musical numbers were (mostly) wonderful, you can’t go wrong with anything by Cole Porter, and they pretty much stuck to the facts about his life.
Oh, and Kevin Kline is in it…total screamin’ honey Kevin Kline, singing and dancing, dressed up and looking MIGHTY fine. Yes indeedy.
Reality police: it’s the Poor Little Rich Girl thing again.
Now, I know this man was conflicted about his sexuality (or maybe wasn’t, but still had to be discreet about it), and he was in incredible pain for much of his life. But still. He was (in the parlance of the Otter household) FILTHY rich, having a lot of money of his own and then marrying a woman who was even richer than he was. He never wanted for anything, and lived in (for most of us) unimaginable luxury. He had a heap of talent, and the time and money to use that talent, instead of slaving away at a minimum wage job, trying to feed the kids, and hoping to have just one of the songs that he never had time to finish make a big hit so he could maybe have a better life. He had a woman (and probably several men) who loved him a whole lot, her whole life…and he had friends who cared about him.
So where’s the angst and pathos in this movie? Exactly. There really isn’t any. The only time you really care about any of these people is when his wife dies and leaves him alone (bring the kleenex for that scene) but otherwise? they’ve got it made in the shade.
There are guest stars doing the theatrical numbers (Elvis Costello and Natalie Cole are knockouts) but Sheryl Crow completely BUTCHERS ‘Begin the Beguine’, which is pretty much my very favorite song ever. Ew.
I’ll just have to have Mr. Otter sing it to me again…mmm, makes my heart beat fast just thinking about it…take it away, Mr. Otter…