This film was Peter Bogdanovich's homage to musical comedies of the 1930s. A millionaire named Michael Oliver Pritchard III and a singer named Kitty O'Kelly meet and fall in love. Meanwhile, an indigent woman named Brooke Carter and an Italian gambler named Johnny Spanish meet and fall in love. All four people meet each other and become friends (actually, Kitty and Brooke had been friends since high-school), and soon, Brooke's crude, fun-loving maid Elizabeth falls in love with Michael's valet Rodney James. Later on, Michael and Brooke fall in love, and Kitty and Johnny decide to follow them around. In order to make Brooke and Michael jealous, they try to look like they are falling in love as well. Eventually, Michael and Johnny get into a fight but then immediately make up. Soon, Brooke and Kitty make up. The two couples pair off successfully and they live happily ever after.Written by
Peter Bogdanovich once said of this film, "Studios bury more films than the public or the critics. Fox gave up on 'At Long Last Love' instantly. A $6 million film was written off while it was doing well because their lawyers told them they could make more money that way." See more »
The Camera begins on a silver music box on which rest bas-reliefs of the 4 principals, they dance to a song and then the camera pans around Kitty Kelly's sumptuous black-and white art deco penthouse. See more »
The director's re-edited television version of the movie includes, among other things, an extra musical number for actress Eileen Brennan. Immediately following the scene between Brennan and Cybill Shepherd outside of the racetrack, Brennan sings "It Ain't Etiquette" (from Dubarry Was a Lady) to Shepherd. Clues to this excised number can be found in a rather abrupt and obvious edit in the theatrical version. See more »
I'm a bit perplexed regarding what to say about this movie. First off, I think I enjoyed it more when I saw it years ago than I did now. But I think that was mainly because of the choice of songs. Cole Porter wrote all sorts of songs, but the movie goes for the particularly witty and urbane choices, including a number I hadn't heard before.
The style of the movie has giddy improvisational style, as actors often seem to be chatting amongst themselves or making quiet asides. This is true not just in conversation, but in song as well, and it's clear the intention is to make the songs work as a continuation of the story and the characterization. It's an interesting approach that I found somewhat likable in conversation but not so much in songs, because it often completely trashes the melodies.
Unfortunately, Bogdonavich was apparently of the opinion that a musical requires very little musical talent. Reynolds is a decidedly poor singer. Shepards can at least carry a tune, but it's hard to imagine anyone casting her as the lead in a musical who wasn't dating her.
The supporting players do better. None of them are great singers either, but Eileen Brennan, John Hillerman, Madelein Kahn and that guy no one's ever heard of all understand how to sell a song. They would make great second bananas behind actors who were strong singers (or dancers, as was the case with Astaire or Kelly musicals), but instead they overshadow the leads, which is a little sad.
The story is simple, essentially a matter of flirting and coupling among the four. Then ending is unsatisfactory.
I've heard there are numerous edits of this movie floating around, and that some work better than others. I saw the version released on VHS, which is apparently neither the best nor the worst version out there. (I've heard the best version is on Netflix and DVD.)
This isn't as terrible as some people claim, and it has some nice touches throughout, but it comes across as a bit of a vanity project in which a director with no experience in musicals nor much sense of what makes them work decided to put his girlfriend in one.
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