Two Great Musical Scenes

My favorite part of The Music Man is at the very beginning.  I know it’s simple, but I still think the whole “song synchronized with the train” thing is catchy and clever.

But I was also charmed by the ending of Woody Allen’s Everyone Says I Love You.  How did he make something so random still feel organic?  The weird magical realism of this scene somehow works–it’s sweet and charming.  The whole point of musicals is to express deep emotion by depicting life filled with song and dance, and this scene just does that even more boldly.

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Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris

Loved this movie!  What a sweet, beautiful celebration of a single time and place in the history of culture.  However, I wish Allen had squeezed James Joyce in with the rest of his pantheon.  Ewan McGregor played Joyce in a film once; would it have killed Allen to call him up to see if he could swing by the studio for an afternoon for a token cameo?

Also, what’s with the PG-13 rating?  Did I miss something?  It had zero nudity, violence, or swearing, that I noticed.  This could easily be shown in an English class.  The actors really do a superb job of capturing Hemingway and Fitzgerald.  There are some clever in jokes (Luke Wilson’s star-struck time traveler tells Hemingway that thought about Huck Finn being the root of all American literature that would later be attributed to Hemingway himself), and Adrien Brody camps it up in a scene as Salvador Dali.

Speaking of Luke Wilson, as Woody Allen is now too old to be the kind of befuddled everyman he made famous in so many films, I guess he was looking for a stand-in.  Wilson’s muted passive-aggressive schtick works surprisingly well in that mold.

And every shot of Paris in this movie is just a graceful love poem to that city.  Bliss.