Thursday, June 4, 2015

Movie Musical Challenge: Guys and Dolls

Surprise! I'm still behind on this. That's okay, though! :)

Guys and Dolls has never been a favorite of mine. And this watch reminded me why. It's looooooong, and I've never thought it was a terribly "together" musical. I mean, I get Adelaide's songs at the Hot Box have meaning and all, but they still feel extraneous. There are a lot of characters to keep up with, and I also have never found the guys--Sky Masterson and Nathan Detroit--remotely convincing in their supposed changes through the musical.

Despite what my dad said before we started watching it, Marlon Brando's singing is not "the worst thing you'll ever hear" (I told him that if we could get through Russell Crowe in Les Miserables, we can get through anything.), but it's not great either. Why doom the poor guy and put him up beside Frank Sinatra, too?

One thing I find very interesting about this movie, though, is how very stage-y the staging is. The set looks like it's part of a Broadway stage and the transitions from scene to scene feel like they're part of a show on stage. I'd never noticed it before, but this version feels much more like they filmed the show on Broadway and put it out, rather than adapted the stage show into a movie and filmed it as such. I'm not complaining about that, but I do wonder why it was done that way.

I feel bad, because it feels like I have nothing good to say about Guys and Dolls. But it's not that I hate it! I just don't want to watch it again anytime soon. I've seen it live before and I think I preferred that experience to the movie. But there is a bright spot! Despite not being terribly fond of the musical as a whole, there are definitely some songs I like! I've always loved "Sit Down You're Rockin' the Boat", because it's such a fun song, and while I don't think the staging of it here is that dynamic, it's still my favorite. (Skip to 1:20 for the song to start. Sorry this quality isn't great, it's all I could find!)

I also like the opening, called "A Fugue for Tin Horns", because it's just fun (Maybe I just really like Nicely Nicely Johnson?), and, despite my problems with Adelaide's number of songs I'm sad they cut "A Bushel and a Peck" for the movie, because it's so catchy! I also find myself singing "Luck Be a Lady" a lot. So, not so much a fan of the musical as a whole, but I like a lot the music! It's not all negative!

In terms of my ultimate ratings, don't be surprised if Guys and Dolls finds itself at the very bottom of the list. I was hoping maybe I'd find a new appreciation for it, but....nope. Next up is Beauty and the Beast, though! I. CAN'T. WAIT.

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