How great is the show within a show format? I know you think I’m going to start another I love Studio 60 post, but this time it’s something else. It’s an awestruck love letter to Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds in Singing in the rain. I skedaddled from Bombay this weekend and the moment I touched the green, green grass of home (don’t groan. I’m engineered to reference country western music. I was raised on it) I knew I owed myself a great classic favourite. I chose Singing in the rain and within minutes I was lost in the slapstick comedy, the singing, the tap dances and the genius of Donald O’Connor. I also found myself enthralled by the lengthy musical number from The dueling cavalier.
For those of you who haven’t had the immense pleasure of watching Singing in the rain, it’s plot is set in the time when silent films were just making the transition to the talking picture format. Screen legends Don Lockwood and Nina Lamont find themselves having to convert the film they’re acting in (The dueling cavalier) into a musical with modern dance numbers (for that era, this meant lots of fringe trimmed flapper dresses and those sexy cigarette holders). But how to make a film set in 16th century France more 1920’s and less balcony swordfight-ish? Easy. Just make it about a Broadway aspirant who happens to be reading A tale of two cities and call it The dancing cavalier. It’s genius. I tell you, if The Dancing Cavalier were an actual film, I’d watch that shit in a heartbeat.
It’s the same with all the other stuff I’ve seen on films about films or television series about films. I found everything in Studio 60, (with the exception of that biopic that Harriet was supposed to star in) hilarious and that includes peripheral vision man. In the King and I, the Siam dance drama of Uncle Toms cabin was just amazing and since we’re on the subject what was that movie with Lindsay Lohan where she stars in a play about a modern day Eliza Doolittle? Who cares, but I remember she stars in play about a modern day Eliza Doolittle! They should have given that more screen time. It would have made Lohan’s presence bearable.