In this sequel to Father of the Bride (1950), newly married Kay Dunstan announces that she and her husband are going to have a baby, leaving her father having to come to grips with the fact that he will soon be a granddad.
1936. Julia Packett, a London chorus girl, is always in trouble financially, but she always seems to manage to land on her feet by using her feminine wiles to manipulate the men in her life... See full summary »
The upper class Pringles and middle class Fosters are two families living in Santa Barbara. Among widowed businessman Lucien Pringle's interests are a bank and a radio station, these and his other business interests which make him largely an absent figure from his children's lives. Melvin Foster owns and operates a seafood packing plant, it an offshoot of his days as a fisherman. Unlike Lucien, Melvin is an active part in his family's life. Sixteen year olds Judy Foster, Ogden Pringle (more casually called Oogie) and Oogie's sister Carol Pringle are seniors at the local high school, they who have known each other all their lives. Judy, the school's songbird, and Oogie, conductor of the school's orchestra, are musical collaborators and consider themselves more than just friends, while Judy and Carol are best friends, although Judy and Oogie are oblivious to Carol's actions being in her own best interest often at their expense. Events leading up to, at, and following the senior class ...Written by
Jane Powell plays Judy--a kooky teenager who can sing like a bird but who has difficulty picking friends. That's because her best friend, Carol (Elizabeth Taylor) is a rich, meddling, spoiled jerk--yet Judy doesn't seem to recognize this. And throughout the film, Carol does her best to make Judy's life miserable. For no particular reason, Carol drives a wedge between her brother, Oogie, and Judy--who are sweethearts. However, this backfires when Judy ends up with a much handsomer and older man, Stephen (Robert Stack). Now, jealous, Carol is determined to take Stephen for herself. But Stephen is no dummy--he sees that Carol is gorgeous but also lets her know that he can see right through her and her wiles.
In a smaller side story, Judy's father (Wallace Beery) is a nice guy--but a nice guy who is embarrassed that he doesn't know how to dance. With his anniversary coming up, he decides to secretly take dance lessons (with Carmen Miranda) but due to Carol's meddling, people begin to think that he and Carmen are in love! SO, Judy decides the best way to fight this is to make her father feel loved--and she and the family lay it on thick. Clearly this is Beery at his best--and he's easy to love (despite his very nasty personality off-screen).
This is the sort of light family musical-comedy that MGM did best. Films like "On Moonlight Bay" and "Meet Me in St. Louis" are just a small sampling of the sort of genre that the studio made to perfection. They also made some non-musicals with similar plots that just can't be beat, such as "Life With Father", the Andy Hardy films and "Cheaper By the Dozen" (the original--not the new crappy version). These films aren't especially deep but are filled with pleasant plots, a bit of minor melodrama, some laughs and, most importantly, nice folks you'd like to meet. My only complaint is that although Powell has a good voice, her high-toned style and high pitch is NOT to my liking. It's far less simple and pleasant than Judy Garland ("Meet Me in St. Louis") or Doris Day ("By the Light of the Silvery Moon" and "On Moonlight Bay"). I am also not a huge Carmen Miranda fan, though when she wasn't singing, she was just fine. Overall, while not a great family musical comedy, it's a good one and well worth your time.
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