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Contemporary rethinking of the legendary Broadway musical and 1962 film, updated to reflect a few early twenty-first-century sensibilities: A masterful con artist tries to bilk a staid Midwestern community, with unexpected results. Written by
A feel-good musical that probably needed to be remade just to get today's viewers to watch it...
I think some of the previous commenters have been perhaps a bit too harsh on this remake. I myself dearly loved the original "The Music Man" (1962) - it was a very important movie in my childhood. My folks bought the soundtrack LP, and I must have heard every song on that album about ten thousand times. (Same can be said for "Oklahoma", "My Fair Lady", "Mary Poppins", etc.) Later, in my youth, I took up the trumpet, and would later actually play several of the songs from "The Music Man" in various band settings.
So it was with keen reservations that I tuned into this 2003 version of the same movie. I really admire Matthew Broderick, yet I was somehow reluctant to allow "Ferris Bueller" the privilege of portraying Professor Harold Hill. Well, no sooner did he begin singing and dancing some of his required Music Man numbers than I was completely won over by his talent, not to mention the easy grace with which he tackled the role.
Suffice it to say that I stuck it out to the end of the film, wholeheartedly enjoying every minute of it (with one slight reservation: there were too damned many commercial interruptions.... oh, and one more thing, I would have loved to see this in a wide-screen format).
I also loved Kristin Chenowith as Marian Paroo. She looked absolutely fabulous and had a divine singing voice that really melted me to the core.
In summation, I'm glad that Disney produced this effort to put "The Music Man" back on the screen, because I think it is a story that today's viewers (especially young people) could certainly bear watching. That's mainly because I fear that the 1962 version (which may arguably be a better version) would unfortunately be overlooked by today's viewers. I mean, nowadays, who has ever heard of Robert Preston??
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