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The Producers (2005)
Don't be snobby, be a smarty, dis those critics & join the Mel Brooks party!
I had really high expectations going into the movie. As a fan of Mel Brooks, the original film and the Chicago & NY productions, I went into the screening with the mindset of comparing/contrasting it to the other experiences that I enjoyed so much. What to expect? A feel good movie? A theater production? I couldn't classify it right away. It gave me the same feelings as other Brook's movies (yes, the extremely funny, the hooky, the grimace, the etc...) and had elements of a Broadway musical, yet something was different. Once the story got rolling I quickly stopped analyzing and started to really have a good time. Unlike the theater, movie houses usually are very impersonal... yet this movie was able to get the audience involved. It started with a chuckle here and there and then some folks started bursting out in hysterical laughter. From then on people let their defenses down and I think that's the key to enjoying the movie. If it makes you laugh, don't be afraid to just laugh out loud. Laughter is contagious and the movie experience is too... heck, be the catalyst! The performances were all very good... Nathan especially. I wonder how many people will see this and think... wow, that Nathan Lane can sing! It would have been fun to see Cady & Brad in their original roles... but Uma & Will did a good job and definitely have more Hollywood power.
After leaving the theater I realized that maybe what I just experienced was a genuinely fun musical movie, the likes of which I had never experienced growing up... a throw back to the 'ol Singing in the Rain style musicals. I'm sure that there will be many in depth comparisons/reviews of the film after its wider release.
All in all, if you're looking for a fun time this is a great movie for everyone, except pre-adolescent kids... unless you want to teach them a bit about life early on. Oh yeah, if you have a fun time, just like waiting for the curtain call in a live theater, you should sit through the credits... a lot of time and love has gone into the experience that is "The Producers," and everyone that worked on it should be recognized.
9/10 with a single star reserved for all the behind the scenes and extra features that will hopefully appear on the home release.
Here's to Mel! And always, thanks for all the laughs.
PS - If you can't get enough after seeing the movie you should check out the original Movie, The Broadway Production & Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 4. If you want to know more about Mel, a great book is "The Big Screen Comedies of Mel Brooks" by Robert Crick.