copyright © Jedo Dre 2011

Every now and then comes along a movie so iconic, everyone knows its name, even if they haven't seen it. And sometimes the hype greatly overstates the value. Singin' in the Rain has its good moments but it is also a mess of a movie.

The main romance in the film came out of nowhere. It has that age old cliché where two people do not like each other at first but then fall in love, except the cliché is done badly. The dislike is very sudden, feels very forced to the point that it seemed like the main female character could not act. After the initial dislike there is no natural progression to a warmer relationship. It just becomes a fact at one point so the romance also feels very sudden and forced.

The story as a whole has a disorienting structure, getting interrupted by parts that do not belong.

The film is saturated with little jokes and slapstick and almost none of that stuff is funny! After a while the dumb forced humour becomes painful. There is a character played by Donald O'Connor whose mission it is to be a harlequin that got high on speed. He has a good delivery and can be funny but he also overdoes the whole clown business to the point of his character becoming annoying.

The actors are definitely capable when they want to be, they sing very well and they dance well too. But those 3 aspects (acting, singing and dancing) are not tied together well. Look, if you wanted to make some random songs, make an album and put it on a record. If you are making a film with a story then it has to make sense and the songs in it have to be related. That is not the case here.

On top of that, the songs are not all good either. There are two songs, Singin' in the Rain and Good Morning (to a lesser degree), that are discernibly interesting. The rest are average, some with primitive rhymes and of questionable purpose in the movie. There is one song that starts for no apparent reason and is not about anything, with its few lyrics being nonsensical babble. It is several minutes of your life you will never get back. The song could have been cut out of the film and it would have lost NOTHING.

Moreover, the music is constantly being interrupted either for a change in tune or for another scene or for a dancing part. I like tap dancing too but quitting and interrupting the music into which your brain is trying to tune feels horrible, like getting mentally slapped. These dancing parts are not brief pauses either; they last a while and they too get interrupted by slapstick or other dancing scenes. What a mess.

As the movie was drawing to a close I was bored and tired of it (my partner tuned out after just 10 minutes). And that is despite the fact that certain parts of this film are bouncing of the wall hyperactive. The music is good, the acting is good, but the structure is wrong. Next time someone asks me to watch this movie, they will need to get me high first, because clearly that is what the makers were when they made it.

Singin’ in the Rain