Tuesday, 28 June 2011



First off: I'm really not a fan of musicals. I did like Sweeney Todd (which is curious as I also don't care for Tim Burton - maybe it's because it's basically a cannibalism and serial murder movie) and I did like Little Shop Of Horrors, again presumably because of its horror content, but the big blowsy Broadway things from the genre's so-called Golden Age - the likes of Carousel and Showboat and The Sound Of Music - leave me utterly cold, and I'd rather re-enact the entirety of the first three Saw films in my own bathroom than ever watch Oliver! again. The honourable exception to this is Singin' In The Rain, which I can enjoy for its film studio background. But the musical tends to be a joyless arena of film for me.

Xanadu is a musical. More to the point, it's a disco musical, and even more to the point it's alleged to be the one that inspired the Razzies. Small wonder.... An Olympian muse (Olivia Newton-John, complete with genuinely Olympian Melbourne accent) named Kira comes down to Earth to inspire frustrated artist Sonny to follow his dreams of opening a roller disco in parnership with ancient clarinet player Gene Kelly. She and Sonny fall in love but can never be together.... That's it for a plot. You also get several songs, some with dancing, and even an animated fantasy sequence. Many of Olivia Newton-John's appearances have her outlined with a ReadyBrek glow; the brief sequence in Olympus looks like something out of Tron.

Sadly, the rollerskating romantic leads are awful: Olivia Newton-John is pretty but can't act, Michael Beck is excruciatingly dull and can't act either, and the only effortless note of actual star quality is down to Gene Kelly (in his last role). It's a flimsy piece of good natured but entirely nonsensical fluff and it certainly isn't any good; there's no dramatic impetus to make you care whether Sonny gets his damned dream or not. That said, there are a ton of movies out there a thousand times worse - which is of course no excuse for mediocrity, but this is a long way from the worst you'll ever see. Piffle nonetheless.


Piffle ahoy:

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