Funky Movie Musicals
Review By: Gringo

Once upon a time, I remember seeing that Alex James guy from the British band Blur being interviewed about musicals. He came out with the effortlessly witty comment that ďall musicals are gayĒ. After regaining my composure from the obvious hysterical laughing fit that followed from than intensely well thought-out and non-sweeping comment, I realised something. Who cares?

In my opinion (and what a sexy opinion it is, so this you must care about), musicals are a pretty under-rated source of movie joy-joy. So today Iím going to do tiny reviews of four-or-so movie musicals in a desperate attempt to keep my hands on the keyboard and off my penis.

If there are any regular readers of this website out there, you might be getting a bit hot under the collar. And not because of my penis, though lord knows how smashing it is. The reason you might be getting anxious is because this article will no doubt end up bearing a worrying resemblance to Life After Walt. That thing was meant as a one-off review of four Disney movies, but turned into an unstoppable monster. Will the same happen here? Who can tell, baby?!

Also, if all musicals are gay, surely they would die out after a couple of generations? Zing! Oh, and to read full-length musical reviews on this site (as if youíd really want to), so far Iíve covered Bugsy Malone, Mamma Mia!, 1776 and, uh, thatís it. If Iím feeling really lazy, Iíll just include those movies in this round-up via the oleí writerís trick of cut-and-paste.

Evita

But for now, change is a-coming with a new mini review! And letís start the change with a movie that turned an Argentinean dictator and his social-climbing wife into martyrs! Singing martyrs at that! The best kind! Itís soppy, itís cluttered with clichť and itís packed with simple tunes...it must be Andrew Lloyd Webber! So! Many! Exclamation! Marks!

No, Iím not one of those snooty fucks that seems to think watching any musical created by Mr. Lloyd Webber is beneath them. In fact, I really enjoyed the stage version of Evita. But Iím not a major fan of the movie rendition, mostly because of Madonna, who plays Miss Eva Peron, former first lady of Argentina.

Sure, the movie looks real purdy and all, but thereís just something so face-punchingly irritating about Madonna that I canít stand any movie sheís in. In fact, the only thing I appreciate is the fact that she made a couple of good tunes in the 80s that I can dance to when inebriated. Iím thinking Like A Prayer. Oh yeah. Classy nights out right this way.

Plus, ever since the Shrek movies, it's hard to not imagine that rather than Antonio Banderas singing alongside Madonna, it's actually Puss in Boots. As the clip above proves, they're not the best singing duo in the world.

Little Shop of Horrors

This is what I hear you say to yourself: "Hmm! This Gringo character promised me condensed reviews of funky movie musicals. Yet the first review in this article is of a movie musical he didn't really like! WHAT THE FUCK?"

Calm that explosive temper, O'Reilly! Because now I'm going to write about a movie musical that is more of a winner than Michael Phelps, although, unlike Michael Phelps, Little Shop of Horrors doesn't have a ripped body that makes me question certain things about myself. Mmm....swimming team.

Uh...so, Rick Moranis plays a schlub named Seymour living on Skid Row and working at a florists. One day he finds an exotic plant called Audrey II, secretly an alien beast. Audrey II needs human blood to grow, thus beginning a somewhat gruesome but utterly hilarious story in which Seymour has to satiate the plant's evil diet while trying to win the heart of his lisping ladyfriend, the first Audrey. Confused? Then go back and read the paragraph from the start, jerk.

Practically all of the songs will induce you to LOL (though I'm not promising ROFL) and many are incredibly catchy, a great mix of clever lyrics and instantly memorizable melodies. Plus, there are two further great things about this movie: (1) three soul divas singing as a kind of Greek chorus -- see the above video for an example, and (2) Steve Martin singing about being a malevolent dentist. Funky all round.

My Fair Lady

Let's get one thing out of the way first: yes, Stewie Griffin was modeled largely on My Fair Lady's character Professor Henry Higgins, an uptight Englishman who likes nothing better than to deliver sass in major servings to the common folk. See for example the above video of the song Why Can't The English? which is the opening scene to the movie -- it's a song in which Higgins goes around throwing insults at various types of English accents. Win!

With the Family Guy link out of the way, listen to me (site name shout out!) when I tell you that this is a great movie, and is entirely worth your time, even if you're the kind of person who doesn't usually watch musicals. If you like making fun of people, and like seeing toffee-nosed Brits tossing cruel barbs in the general direction of poorer folk -- and I really do -- then this movie must join your Netflix queue.

Higgins is by his own definition a "confirmed old bachelor" who, on a whim, makes a bet with his friend about whether he can turn a poor London Cockney girl named Eliza Doolittle into a pompous blueblood with the accent and enunciation to boot. Cue roughly two hours of plenty of insults about the way Eliza speaks and acts, helped along with some amusing, catchy songs.

Sure, there's a love story in there as Higgins and Eliza have a concealed attraction to each other. And a simpering young fellow named Freddy Farnsworth shows up as an attempted suitor for young Eliza. But the movie is really about the relationship between Higgins and his protege.

It's a great movie, perhaps mostly because I see in Higgins what I want to become: an angry, embittered but gloriously rich old Englishman who gets to spend his days hurling abuse at other people with the minimal of repercussions.

White Christmas

All right, that video above requires some explanation -- it's not every movie that features Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye mincing it up, pretending to be sisters. Unless you count the sequel to this movie, White Christmas 2: She-Male Wet Hole Bangstravaganza. And I do, believe you and me.

This movie is something that I dorkily (not a word, shut up) watch every Christmas because it's just so rootin' tooin' darn packed with festive cheer. Crosby and Kaye play two headlining Broadway and radio stars who, through a rather long chain of events, wind up putting on a Christmas concert at the Vermont inn owned by their former World War II commanding officer. So far, so dull, right?

Wrong, meathead! The jokes in this thing are pretty corny but despite that are amusing in places. There are few moments where the "action" drags, and the whole thing has a rather pleasant air about it that pulls you in.

Many of the songs are charming and of course the tune White Christmas makes an appearance at the end. Plus, again, Crosby and Kaye camping up it pretending to be women. What more could you need out of the holiday season?


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