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The Four Aces:
Yippee-Yi, Yippee-Yay, Everyone's headin' for Nevada today. So here's an invitation from The Four Aces, Invitin' you to come onto the wide open spaces. If you wanna have fun, in the sun, out west, here's what we suggest: Meet Me In Las Vegas...
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if by "crapshoot" you mean "shooting a crappy tourist ad masquerading as a movie"...
Why do I feel like I'm watching a long commercial for Las Vegas casinos and resorts?
Probably because the plot is terribly thin: an unlucky gambler discovers he can't lose as long as he's holding a dancer's hand - a frosty workaholic dancer who's never had time for love. Will she thaw? Will they get together? Will their love last if their winning streak doesn't?
You may wonder, how can a movie stretch out such a simple story over 112 minutes? By pausing frequently to allow then-current Vegas acts to strut their stuff! It feels like the filmmakers are saying, "Here's a preview of some spectacular shows you can see if you come on down to Las Vegas right now! Don't you want to see more? Y'know, we had to censor the girls' numbers for this movie...so come check them out in the flesh and you'll see a LOT more. Flesh, that is. Well anyway... COME TO VEGAS!"
Geez, there's even a lengthy montage of billboards at various nightclubs so we can see all the names flashing in lights and know exactly who's performing, and where. I wonder if these people paid for the plug? It would be like some studio making a movie today, set in Vegas, and showing a bit of Celine Dion's act to attract more business her way. It's just...tacky. But then, so is Vegas. And Celine. They're a perfect tacky match. A much more convincing match than Cyd & Dan are in this movie. (See how I got back on topic there?)
Anyway, I never had the desire to hit the casinos, and I'm even less interested in visiting the City of Sin now. The harder this film tries to convince me that you win more often than you lose, and everybody in Vegas is so gosh darn nice - the less I buy it.
The celebrity cameos are kinda fun (in a "oh, there's so-and-so, I'm surprised" way, not because they're actually *doing* anything amusing), but pointless (unless the point is to show us that these celebs endorse Vegas - ooh maybe we'll spot 'em there! Let's go!) Dan Dailey is a grinning fool. Agnes Moorehead is good, but wasted in a tiny part. Cyd Charisse has some funny moments, even if she is basically repeating the same kind of role she played in "Silk Stockings" - complete with comical tipsy scene. Once she was uptight. Now she's just tight and barely upright. Haw!
I guess this is considered a musical, but unlike the best musicals, the songs in "Meet Me In Las Vegas" are not integrated into the story (what story?) - They do not help propel the plot forward. Instead, the action simply stops for an unrelated musical number. The songs aren't particularly memorable, and the choreography is uninspired. Cyd gets her chance to dance, but I kept getting distracted by the fact that I'd seen all these moves before! Oh, there's the step she did in "Singin' In The Rain", and she did *that* in "The Bandwagon"...etc, etc.
Not the worst movie in the world - just insubstantial, blatantly commercial and mercenary. I prefer movies that at least *appear* to have a higher goal than just trying to sell me something. I also enjoy clever dialogue and deeper characterization. Am I asking too much? Okay, how about some catchy songs? No? Well, I took a chance on this movie, and I lost. Better luck next time!
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