Thursday, August 23, 2007

An American in Paris (1951)

As a romantic tale about Jerry Mulligan (Gene Kelly), a very-much-older-than-19 man who falls in love with, stalks, and eventually dates 19-year-old Lise (Leslie Caron), the plot to this movie did not win me over. There is much more to the plot than that, because what is a love story without big complications, but I got really stuck on the age difference and way Jerry pursued Lise.

This is also largely a movie about Gene Kelly dancing, and I did enjoy the dancing. I always enjoy Gene Kelly's dancing, although the 17-minute ballet at the end was a bit over the top.

Gene Kelly singing and dancing to Gershwin songs, including "S'wonderful," was definitely what made this movie worth watching for me.

Here are some of my favorite lines that Jerry says to Lise:

"With a binding like you've got, people are gonna want to know what's in the book."
"Lisa, I don't know if you're a girl of mystery, or just a still water that doesn't run deep..."

Does this make her feel good?

I will continue to hum "S'wonderful" but will go rent "Singin' in the Rain" next time I want a Gene Kelly movie!


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Ms. Q said...

Just watched this for the first time (perhaps the word "American" in the title made TCM think this was a good pick for 4th of July weekend?). This is one of those movies where the heroine sits there looking beautiful while the plot revolves around her, as my father used to complain.
I liked the spunky if petulant Milo much better, I confess, than the virtuous and adorable but boring Lise.
Also, Jess, I don't think you properly explained that there is a fourth act ballet that recapitulates the entire plot of the movie in interpretive dance. They do the same thing in "On the Town", I realized, but it's about 8 minutes shorter and way more fun.
Also, this movie deserves a mention for the crazy hats!