Sunday, December 2, 2007

In the Good Old Summertime (1959)

Four stars, will definitely watch again. You know it's good when you see it pop up on your Tivo and you watch it again start to finish, even though you still remember the plot.

The best thing about in the Good Old Summertime is that it's a Christmas movie. It starts out with a voiceover reminiscing about the good old days in Chicago in the summertime and ends on Christmas Eve.

If you have an eerie feeling that you've seen this one before, you may have seen its predecessor, "The Shop Around the Corner" or the Broadway musical "She Loves Me" or the more recent re-write, "You've Got Mail".

I find it strange that I love this move although I hate You've Got Mail. The premise could just be aggravating, really: two people fall in love through the mail while simultaneously meeting and annoying each other in real life.

Luckily, Judy Garland is just so full of emotion for everything that it makes it believable that her character would love her pen pal as passionately as she hated her coworker.

Plus there are the costumes! Judy Garland's first outfit features a parasol, a hat with cherries on it, and a fake bird that perches atop the hat. AWESOME.

Also features Buster Keaton in a supporting role...up till recently I had no idea how long he had survived in the film business - it's really amazing! Of course he does the physical comedy that adds so much to the scenes he's in.

The movie features a violin virtuoso - giving over one whole scene just to her playing - kind of like the operatic orphan in "Here Comes the Groom".

The movie ends with a forgettable Christmas song and an unforgettable line "Psyhologically I'm very confused but personally I feel just wonderful."
And then as a bonus, you get a return to the "Good Old Summertime" and get to see tiny Liza Minelli's screen debut.


Cheryl said...

In general, I think annoying premises hold up better in old movies than in recent ones. We can convince ourselves that in 1959 everyone really was innocent and adorable, but we lived through 1998, so we expect a little reality...even if that's an unrealistic thing to hope for.

Kim said...

I love this movie! Judy Garland flailing about during "I Don't Care" is one of my favorite Judy moments. I just found your blog and it's fabulous! :)