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The opening scene of the movie describes it best: "Once upon a time there lived in Denmark a great storyteller named Hans Christian Andersen. This is not the story of his life, but a fairy tale about the great spinner of fairy tales."
St. Louis 1903. The well-off Smith family has four beautiful daughters, including Esther and little Tootie. 17-year old Esther has fallen in love with the boy next door who has just moved in, John. He however barely notices her at first. The family is shocked when Mr. Smith reveals that he has been transfered to a nice position in New York, which means that the family has to leave St. Louis and the St. Louis Fair. Written by
The Broadway stage version of "Meet Me In St. Louis" opened at the George Gershwin Theater on November 2, 1989, ran for 252 performances and for nominated for the 1990 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Book and Score. See more »
There are no footprints in the snow in the winter scene, and there is not enough snow to have allowed the children to have made snowmen without leaving any trace of the snow being rolled into place. See more »
This is a Christmas movie above all, you should know this much going in. What this has come to mean, from Carol onwards, is a vivacious sketch of a dreamy but coherent world at the outset, here a picture of a prosperous white-picket-fence America, literally a picture that is animated as we submerge inside the fairy-tale, with clear demarcations between moral good and bad, with a clear complexion, but whose coherence we know will be tried, teased, or tempted over the course of the film by some hint of darkness that progressively threatens to overwhelm. Eventually it is going to prevail, the tribulation only strengthening bonds that affirm the value of family, integrity, selflessness, humility.
So if it's a Christmas movie you are looking for, to warm and comfort you, a fictional fireplace to snuggle next to, this can satisfy. The final image is of radiant faces embracing next to a Christmas tree. It beams joy and happiness.
But as a musical, it is tepid stuff. The test of a good musical, any movie for that matter but in the musical so much more clearly, is how well the voluptuous expression of song and dance, an expression of some purity and soul, is integrated inside the larger world that gives rise to them. How deep they map internally, visually, addressing the circumstances that inspire that dance. How in turn we are engaged to dance with the camera.
There is none of that here. No effort to integrate, no imagination to map to. Characters simply burst into song, poor song, poorly choreographed. There is no design of the heart beating faster.
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