Guys and Dolls

Going into this movie, I had no idea that it was a musical- it’s actually a very popular one that debuted in 1950, 5 years before this movie. I’m nota particularly big fan of musicals and almost turned it off when the first number was over. But because this project or goal for my summer is about exposing myself to m\movies and genres heretofore unexplored, I kept it on. For a movie called Guys and Dolls, which to me implied rom-com, there certainly was a lot of talk and harassment about gambling. That’s not to say that there wasn’t a strong romantic-comedy element- of course there was. The plot was heavy and familiar- I don’t know whether to blame this on subsequent rom-coms and their blatant copying, or whether this was already seen as a cliche-fest in the 50s. I’m inclined to believe the former, because the latter wouldn’t explain the great popularity of the broadway musical. The movie itself was cutely cartoonish, with a symmetry that is reminiscent of Wes Anderson- I wonder if he drew inspiration from the cinematographer?

Parts of the movie were so inane – like that ‘Pet me papa’ kitten dance. Cue the puke. The movie was also heavily focused on potential unions of two free-spirited criminals and their rather nagging girlfriends- it played a little close to stereotypes, even for a rom-com. Also, I wonder if the slang used in this film was as prolific in everyday language? The word doll must have been uttered  hundreds of times, while guy went relatively unnoticed. Overall, an interesting movie, but certainly not a favorite. And who knew Marlon Brando could sing?


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