Friday, August 26, 2011
11. "Singin' In The Rain" from Singin' In the Rain
Hey look, it's the greatest musical number of all time! If this is what it's like being number 11, then surely the top 10 must have some trick up its sleeve. At any rate, the pressure is on. I'm afraid I didn't just set the bar high, but in fact tossed it onto the roof. Seriously, what could be better than this?
"You'll see" is the answer, but fact is, this could have been swapped out with any of the nine numbers to follow (not #1 though) and I'd have called it a fair trade. As to why not, I had my reasons, which may or may not have had something to do with spreading the wealth in the top 10. Was that a giveaway? Whatever. Carry on.
There's a reason why this song is the defining moment of one of the greatest films of all time. I don't bandy with that label lightly. Among the top 10 or so films AFI considers to be the greatest ever, Singin' in the Rain is for me the one that most delivers on its classic status. It's the one that most fully delivers on the hype, and every ounce of the fulfillment is readily apparent in the titular song. Crucial, too, is the presence of the genre's leading man, Gene Kelly, singing and dancing in his finest hour. In a genre that truly plays to the strength of star persona, there was never a finer face than Kelly, and could I fall into the shoes of any Hollywood star, he'd be my choice in half a heartbeat. Well, him or Lee Marvin, but poor old Lee's adventure into musicals was somewhat less successful.
Also, lest we forget, "Singin' in the Rain" is the greatest song about being in love ever. Or rather, it captures that giddy feeling of romance on the horizon - how you see beauty in any situation because you're just so damn overwhelmed with the desire to be alive - and right from the "doo-doo-doo-doo-doo..." he hums on the sidewalk you realize that you've been in that situation before and wish that you lived in a society where it was socially acceptable to burst out into song on the street corner. You have done that, right? Because that can't just be me. Can't.
All that's to say, this song is total cinematic bliss. A musical tour-de-force that is crucial viewing whether you're a film lover or not. And if you're not, why then then this right here could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.