De-Lovely (2004)

(On DVD, March 2005) I’ve never been able to let bad wordplay stand in the way of a nuanced review, and so I can’t help but write: De-Lovely is De-Boring. Granted, I know next to nothing about Cole Porter, but it’s not this tepid musical biography that will make me rush to know more. Granted, I did like some of the staging and the way some numbers were integrated into the overall story. But then the music starts and I can’t muster much enthusiasm for the types of show tunes Porter was known for. The framing device can’t do much to counter-act the increasingly wearying impact of the film, which runs about half an hour too long and gets less and less interesting as Porter’s life goes by. (“Just die already!” becomes the rallying cry in my living room) I suppose that devotees of musicals will get a kick out of it; as for myself, this movie just can’t make me care. Which is ironic because when you take a look at all the good material that’s stuffed in this film, you’d expect much better.

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