I've taken my kids to a couple other movies in the theater -- Planes (2013) and Cinderella (2015) -- but it's just really hard finding a movie I know they'll like that I'm willing to spend the extra money to take all three of them to. However, since they already like some musicals, and Singin' in the Rain is such an approachable and fun film, I was pretty sure they would enjoy it. And this marked the first time that all five of us saw a movie in the theater together!
They definitely enjoyed it -- in fact, we've been listening to the soundtrack several times a day since then, and they've been playing they're Cosmo, Kathy, and Don off and on, too. They were really excited to learn that I own this on DVD already (they're very used to me going to see movies in the theater and then getting them on DVD months later), and we're planning to rewatch it again for their movie of the week.
If you like classics and have a theater anywhere near you that participates in these showings, try one out! It was so amazing to be in a theater with oodles of other people who also knew and loved and appreciated this film -- we laughed, we clapped after the big numbers, and it was altogether a wonderful evening. We had to travel twice as far as to our usual theater, but the extra driving was well worth it.
Before I actually review the movie, you might be wondering how old my kids are. Sam is 9, Sarah will be 7 in a month, and Eggnog is 5. But I've been raising them on movies both classic and modern, so they were totally ready for the slower pace of a '50s musical. After all, some of their favorite movies are The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), Operation Pacific (1951), and That Darn Cat! (1965).
Singin' in the Rain explores the struggles of actors and studios during the transition from silent films to talkies in the late 1920s.
Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) and Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen) are major silent stars, and when The Jazz Singer (1927) introduces talking pictures to the movie-going masses, Don and Lina's latest picture gets put on hold while the studio reconfigures everything to record sound. Many funny mishaps ensue. You see, Lina Lamont is beautiful, but possesses a screechy, awful voice that does not match her pretty face. She's also a clingy brat who has convinced herself that Don loves her, and that she's more important to the studio than anyone else.
Don meets a chorus girl named Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds) and falls in love with her, but Lina does everything she can to separate them. Don, Kathy, and Don's best friend Cosmo Brown (Donald O'Connor) come up with a scheme to use Kathy's voice to save the movie, and their plan seems to work for a while, but then backfires... or does it?
If you love lavish musicals, learning about movie-making, or sweet love stories, but you haven't seen Singin' in the Rain yet, or if you've just always wondered what that iconic image above is all about, I beseech you to go find this and watch it! It's not considered one of the finest (if not THE finest) musicals ever filmed for no reason.
Here's a bit of trivia for you: According to the TCM opener to the film when we saw it Sunday, Gene Kelly had a 103-degree fever when they filmed the superb scene where Gene Kelly sings and dances in the rain to the title song. You would never know it when you watch. What a professional!
I'm hoping we can take our kids to another of the TCM/Fathom Events screenings later this year -- The Princess Bride is scheduled for October, and I know Sam and Sarah would get a kick out of it, and by then, Eggnog might be ready for it too.