I’m falling behind! Yikes! It’s all right, isn’t it, tumblr? You won’t hold it against me? Anyway, here is my Top 5 for the day! Big ominous clouds are rolling in overhead and that always makes me want to hunker down in my living room- in my comfy pjs, a mug of tea in hand- to watch musicals. I LOVE musicals! Whether they’re from the golden age of Hollywood or more recent, remakes of originals or originals themselves, musicals make me happy! If you asked me tomorrow, my list might change, but for today here are my top 5 favorite musicals to watch… (in chronological order)
1. Singin’ in the Rain: 1952. Directed by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly (the master, himself). If you don’t watch this movie and smile, then where is your heart? For shame. This is a classic with fun music, a great cast and some very memorable scenes. It’s a lighthearted take on Hollywood’s transition from silent films to “talkies”. What do you do when your most beautiful silent film star has a terribly grating voice?
2. Moulin Rouge: 2001. Directed by Baz Luhrman (who I think is a genius). Ewan McGregor singing? I mean, c’mon people. There’s a reason to watch it right there. I remember sitting in the theater taking in the first can-can scene and thinking, “Holy Crap! Sensory overload!” But it is a wonderfully sweet love story with an awesome soundtrack. Taking songs from the classic pop songbook (ie Your Song by Elton John) and reinventing them as musical numbers is brilliant.
3. Phantom of the Opera: 2004. Directed by Joel Shumacher. I have always loved Phantom of the Opera. It is a quntessential musical. And I have always been a Michael Crawford fan, so I was skeptical about this newcomer, Gerard Butler (I look back at that now and laugh at myself), filling such big musical shoes. Is his voice as beautiful as Crawfords? No, but he brings this raw, emotional power to the character that makes me wonder why Christine would ever choose Raoul over him.
4. Hairspray: 2007. Directed by Adam Shankman (I love him!). I am a fan of the original, very quirky John Waters film of the same name and maybe some people would be disappointed with this musical remake, but it just makes me happy every time I watch it. The cast is fabulous, with my favorites being John Travolta and Christopher Walken as Tracy’s parents. I love the plot, the music, the dancing, the fun cameos, I like it all!
5. Across the Universe: 2007. Directed by Julie Taymor, the fabulous lady who brought The Lion King to broadway. This film is beautifully made and a whole story line is created using Beatles songs. Since the Beatles are my all-time favorite band, this one is a no-brainer for me. I would have liked it even if the story wasn’t that great. But, guess what? It is! The story and the imagery were so gripping that I cried the first time I saw it. It doesn’t take much, though… :) And many thanks to Julie Taymor for introducing us to Jim Sturgess. Sigh.
6. Alright. I’m cheating. I can’t leave out Little Shop of Horrors. Rick Moranis, Steve Martin and Ellen Greene are fabulous. Love the campiness, the comedy and the music!