Friday, March 18, 2016
Mini-Review - "An American In Paris" (1951)
Gene Kelly was a creep in this film.
Maybe it is because "An American In Paris" was made at a different time, or perhaps the people of Paris feel differently than Americans, but Gene Kelly was constantly getting in people's business and sticking his nose where it didn't belong. Gene wasn't afraid to make room for himself at a breakfast for two, interject with his own rendition of a musical number he wasn't invited to, barge into his neighbor's room without knocking or asking if he could come in, steal a girl away from her dinner party so he could dance with her, and then repeated call her at work to ask her out for dinner even after she said no.
Because of this, it is difficult to call Gene Kelly's character "charismatic" and "charming." He is more so abrasive and entitled, like he owns Paris and is friends with everybody in town.
That being said, there are some good musical numbers in "An American In Paris," especially when Gene gets the children of his neighborhood to join him in a rendition of "I Got Rhythm." Gene switches between English and French throughout the song and the children laugh at his many impressions throughout the song, like a train and Charlie Chaplin's Tramp.
"An American In Paris" is based on of the orchestral pieces of George Gershwin, but the real star behind-the-scenes was Gene Kelly, who not only starred, but directed certain scenes and did the choreography for this Best Picture-winning production as well.
While I would say that "Singin' In The Rain" outclasses this film in almost every regard, "An American In Paris" is still worth checking out for the classic Gene Kelly style that is intoxicating and irresistible. Whenever he is dancing in this film, it is impossible to take my eyes off the screen. And to think that all the dancing was choreographed by him makes this far more respectable.
Final Grade: B-