A successful song-and-dance team become romantically involved with a sister act and team up to save the failing Vermont inn of their former commanding general.A successful song-and-dance team become romantically involved with a sister act and team up to save the failing Vermont inn of their former commanding general.A successful song-and-dance team become romantically involved with a sister act and team up to save the failing Vermont inn of their former commanding general.
First off, one aspect that sticks out about this film is it's dialogue. Upon hearing the back and forths it is all purely fun! The dialogue is witty and always feels as if it's consequential, as it's constantly building up to the next event. However, the main staple is how revealed these characters become through communication. Every piece of banter between each character gradually leads up to one being sincere. Slowly but surely the essence of each character begins to break through. We can't help but feel that they actually pondered the situation with the intelligence of a real person and simply stated what they felt deep down. It's a testament to this film on how much it respects and communicates the true human essence of each character. In a way, and like all great films, the dialogue felt like a reflection of real life. How so many of our conversations feel light hearted, with an emphasis on humor, and yet it's through these discussions that staples of who we truly are end up seeping through.
It's because of how well defined each character is that the humor with it worked all the better. It's like a sitcom cast that you're well acquainted with. It's not the specific joke written, but the character actually saying it. The feeling that these real people, with all their complexities known to us, are actually saying these lines as if it was thought up in the moment. This can't help but propel life into it, containing the human aspects lacking on paper.
Another notable aspect is its cinematography. In this case the camera felt like a character. It always seems to be reacting with the most insightful responses. It pans from thing to thing, highlighting the individual in the room and detailing them through their telling movements. It also embodies the mood of the room. This is ever present when the said mood is romance. The camera always seems to start with a subjective wide shot, encompassing the characters within a large room, as it seems to get seductively closer and closer. Pretty soon it's all built up to the max of anticipation. And then they kiss, making us feel as if it was truly worked for. But it's not all personal. There's glamour to the musical numbers, as these fantasy like moments are perfectly communicated through the camera that seems to soar as it takes up each bit of beautiful scenery. It all then becomes fulfilled with the beautiful and seamlessly intricate dances.
And of course, the dancing and music is perfect. This is all obvious when including such professionals. Of course it will be perfect! But what about the "why" of it? How does it communicate the present emotions of the story? Well, pretty amazingly and it's the reason why it holds up so much as a musical. The dancers themselves felt suave, respectable, and yet harnessed this child like fun to it all. They use this to perfectly communicate the almost funny feelings of love, the unrelenting and yet seamless energy towards passion, and (most beautifully) the true joyful feeling of the present moment, where everything right seems to hit you all at once. Music all adds to this, through its communication of the joyfulness, the melodrama, the energy, and the liveliness of Christmas! It's all very glorious, as both communicated these feelings far greater than it could have been done any other way.
As I write this now it is Christmas Eve. Having seen this movie I feel as if part of my past spirit of childhood has been restored to me. I'm bewildered on how much a film like this could instill into a person, and I'm so grateful to have seen it. As I go to bed tonight, restless and anticipating Christmas Day, I have no doubt that I'll be counting my blessings instead of sheep.
And on a final note: Happy Holidays to whoever is reading! Whether you be young or old, or have the holiday spirit or not, I wish you the best!
- Dec 25, 2018