John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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"La Cage aux Folles" Only Wishes It Were This Gay

Courtesy of Netflix, I rented the 1956 film version of "Anything Goes" -- figuring that with a script by P.G. Wodehouse and music and lyrics by Cole Porter, it had to be pretty darn good.

Well, um, it wasn't. In fact, aside from one "this doesn't suck" number about 3/4 of the way through involving Donald O'Connor tap-dancing while kids threw playground balls at him (it worked better than it sounds), it was mostly noticeable for, well, being really gay. 0.o During the signature routine of "Anything Goes," Mitzi Gaynor is danced around by several guys in tight TIGHT pants and do a lot of butt-flaunting -- but that's positively tame compared to the wrist-bending and jazz-handsing Chippendales guys who accompany Zizi Jeanmaire during her character's introductory number. Most of the choreography in the film is just kinda weird -- people moving around more or less randomly in time to the music -- but when watching those two numbers particularly I kept expecting them to break into "The French Mistake".

The gayness of it all wouldn't be a problem particularly, except that in a comedy the laughs should come from a funny script, not from the ridiculousness of the boys in the chorus camping it up. However, my disappointment is mitigated somewhat by the discovery that this film version is basically a shadow of the original play, that (in the words of Wikipedia) "almost completely excised the rest of the characters in favor of a totally new plot." So, yeah. Thanks Paramount. Pfui. Even Bing Crosby makes clunkers sometimes.

Oh well ... the actual play gets revived from time to time, maybe I'll see it on the stage someday.

-The Gneech

EDIT: Well, YouTube has Mitzi Gaynor's routine. Saddle up, Spanky!
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