Review – Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

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Welcome to Media Month | Movies on Movies Week – Day 2. I don’t usually rate classic films. There’s a certain uneasy feeling that I get when I see one for the first time. Could be great, as most people say, but I could also see it as terrible, so people would randomly disqualify me for having legitimate thoughts on things. Anyway, Singin’ in the Rain is the next film about film, which is certainly true, but how was the movie itself? Well, let’s get started with the plot.

A silent film production company and cast make a difficult transition to sound.

Guys, when you talk about the plot for this film, you can either have something one sentence long, or you can have a long wall of text that basically explains everything that happens in the entire film. Why? Well, as far as I could tell, there wasn’t any real plot here. The transition from silent film to talkie is simply just a part of the setting. The movie instead really just follows around people doing their thing from start to finish without any real aim.

It is a musical though, and I was wondering if I’d like the rest of the songs. I’ll talk about this a little bit later, but in short, I liked the dancing and didn’t care for all but two songs in the film. In short, for an entire musical, I feel like my time was mostly wasted. I did like the focus on film production, though. That actually felt really original. Let’s break down Singin’ in the Rain to interpret the stars.

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PEOPLE SCORE – 6/10
Acting – 1|Characters – 1|Casting – 1|Importance – 2|Chemistry – 1

First up, we have the people category, starting off with the subcategory of acting. The acting was neither terrible or great, mostly typical and forgettable. Yes, you read that right. There was so much overacting in this movie that I wanted to give acting zero, but the dancing was good enough to bump that up a little. The characters were fine, but I won’t be remembering them forever. I think everyone did a fine job in the role, but that doesn’t mean they were the only actor for the job. Absolutely every character in this film seemingly had an important role adding to the direction of the plot, I was impressed. They had a reason, they had a purpose, they had history, and I love it. As far as the chemistry goes in this film, there wasn’t much of it. Yes, it was about a romance, but I wasn’t really feeling the chemistry needed for that.

WRITING SCORE – 7/10
Dialogue – 1|Balanced – 1|Story – 2|Originality – 2|Interesting – 1

Next up, we have the writing category, starting off with the dialogue subcategory…which was as unremarkable and forgettable as the meal you had last Tuesday afternoon. That includes the singing, folks.  Now, this film isn’t as well-balanced as it could’ve easily been. It loses its own focus here and there, making the film feel a little bit longer than it should normally feel. When it comes to the story, this film knows what it’s doing. Not only is the story alone interesting, but it sticks with you because it has meaning and purpose. In my opinion, I also think this film feels fresh and pretty darn original. I’d say I was interested enough to watch the film, but as I watched the movie, my interest died down pretty rapidly and was gone before the film ended.

BTS SCORE – 7/10
Visuals – 1|Directing – 1 |Editing – 1|Advertisement – 2|Music – 2

Next up, we’re taking a look at behind-the-scenes, starting with the visuals. In this case, the visuals were pretty standard and typical to what you’d expect. Nothing blows you away, nothing looks horrible, either. It is what it is, folks. Next, we’re taking a look at the directing, which slips by without you noticing it. That’s right, there wasn’t anything difficult or challenging for the director. They could’ve hired any director for the job and the movie would be exactly the same. Nothing challenging or difficult in the editor’s desk, folks. They stitched the movie together just fine, but there’s nothing else to report here because even a kid could probably do it. As with most films, I consider this film to be exactly as-advertised, which is good. As for the music category? Well, we’ll get into this a little further, but you do remember the movie for the music, so I’ll grant full points here.

NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 7/10
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 1|Obstacles – 1|Climax – 1|Falling Action – 2

Next up, we’re chugging right along into the narrative arc category, which is one of the easiest categories to score highly in. First up, we’re looking at the introduction, which did perfectly. By the inciting incident, we knew who everyone was, the basic setting, and what’s going on in these people’s lives. How about the inciting incident? It was okay, I’ll put it that way. It wasn’t really all that clear because you never really feel like there is a ‘never going back’ moment, but it is what it is. How were the obstacles? Well, I’ll say this much…there weren’t much. There was one main obstacle that they worked on for a while, but that was about it. How was the climax? It was okay, a little anticlimactic overall because it didn’t feel like any culmination of everything else put together. Lastly, we’re gonna talk about the falling action, which was really great. It had a nice little calming down moment and a definite returning to a new norm moment as well, so that’s good.

ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 0/10
Rewatchability – 0|Fun – 0|Impulse/Buy – 0|Impulse/Talk – 0|Sucks Audience IN – 0

Now, we get to ask the age-old question on if this movie is even entertaining! It’s not the best start since I wouldn’t rewatch it if my life depended on it. Okay, that’s a bit harsh, but I honestly don’t see me ever looking for it in order to see it again. What about its ability to be fun? Sorry, but this movie is about as boring as it gets. I didn’t have fun watching it, I wanted to stop it and leave! Do I have any impulse to buy it? No way, Jose! What about talking to somebody about the film that hasn’t heard of it? I really have no impulse to tell anybody about it, honestly. Does this suck you in, though? No, not really. If anything, it has more opportunities to push you out than suck you in.

SPECIALTY SCORE – 35/50
Weekly Theme – 10|Musical – 5|Comedy – 5|Romance – 5|Halfway Decent – 10

Now we are on to the specialty questions that I asked before seeing the movie. For the weekly theme of movies about movies, how does this compare? Pretty well. The whole perception of production and dubbing over lines isn’t normally seen in film, and this movie placed an interesting enough reason for its existence, which is pretty great – full points there. Here’s what I meant by bringing things up later. This is a musical, so how does that fare? Not well. I didn’t really love any of the songs and only two of them really stuck with me after it ended. What they did do well, was dancing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any dancing quite like that. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or bad thing, but I’ll just say good, splitting the musical score in half. This is listed as a rom-com, believe it or not. So how were the comedy and romance? Both of these elements were there, although they didn’t hit as well for a modern audience as they did back in the early ’50s. The comedy is clearly aged, as it talks about pop culture in a way that doesn’t click with me 65 years after the release of the film. The romance feels forced, like something the audience has to merely accept, which didn’t really work for me, either. But was the movie halfway decent? I’ll say that it was, but that’s probably the best thing I can say about the movie.

TOTAL – 62/100

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