C.K. Dexter-Haven, a successful popular jazz musician, lives in a mansion near his ex-wife's Tracy Lord's family estate. She is on the verge of marrying a man blander and safer than Dex, who tries to win Tracy's heart again. Mike Connor, an undercover tabloid reporter, also falls for Tracy while covering the nuptials for Spy magazine. Tracy must choose between the three men as she discovers that "safe" can mean "deadly dull" when it comes to husbands and life.Written by
James Meek <email@example.com>
In my humble opinion, The Philadelphia Story was amusing but not really hilarious and certainly not the apex of screwball comedy, as the rest of the world is convinced. But I could appreciate it much more after viewing this inane, dull remake of the story. In the non-musical scenes, in which the writers both unabashedly lift dialogue straight from the movie (and, presumably, the play it was based on) and throw in some of their own confections, no one comes near their "Philadelphia" predecessors in their delivery of the lines. I never really imagined myself saying this, but they just aren't as smart or sharp or witty as the original cast. Poor Grace Kelly makes an ass of herself in her last film, and poor Frank Sinatra and Celeste Holm are largely wasted and completely mismatched. The supporting cast, particularly the mother and the young sister, are also embarrassing.
The only things that save this film are Cole Porter's lively songs, especially "Well, Did You Evah?" and the rumba number, in which Sinatra and Kelly show themselves to be the only well-matched couple in the movie and display some good chemisry, as well as the one and only Satchmo's wonderful opening rendition of the title song (The film can only go downhill from there) and "Now You Has Jazz." Bing Crosby's likeable performance, the only non-embarassing one in the movie (except Satchmo's) also helps.
Maybe I would have liked this movie better if I hadn't seen The Philadelphia Story beforehand, but then again, I didn't love The Philadephia Story until I saw this movie. All in all, it was a flop.
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