Sunday, October 2, 2011

My Fair Lady

I think I'm having a delayed allergic reaction or something, and I've been feeling pretty out of it all day. Tried to chase away my throat pain with some tea, and it seemed to help. As a celebration, I'm going to have some tea and whiskey, which always seems to help stave off a cold (er...or at least I don't mind so much that I have cold or allergy symptoms).

Today I watched My Fair Lady, directed by George Cukor in 1964. I wasn't really feeling up to watching such a long movie today. I thought it was like, two hours max, but this is a pretty epically long musical. I sort of like this movie and I sort of don't. It's hard because I get it - I like the story sort of a little, I like the acting a little, and I can leave the musical numbers. I sort of get the humor, but I sort of bristle at it still. I don't really know how I feel about it. It's good, but it's not really for me, maybe? I have a really hard time pinning down my feelings about movies like this, because on one hand, I sort of enjoy them, but on the other, I find them frustrating and boring to watch.

If you don't know the plot to this, I...don't even know. I mean, Family Guy did a whole like, My Fair Lady episode or something, right? You should know the plot to this. Some doofus, sexist jerky guy named Henry Higgins decides to conduct this little rich person experiment to see if he can teach a poor flower girl named Eliza to speak like a proper English lady and pass her off as wealthy. He succeeds, and everyone makes a big show about how smart and special he is, and not Eliza. And because he's a jerk, he has no idea why this might upset her. But he kind of has feelings for her a little, and she wants to know that he at least cares about her a little.

I like a lot of things about this. The costumes are pretty amazing. I love the scene at the horse races, because it's hilarious and the costumes are stunning. Audrey Hepburn is really good in this role, although I sort of wished that they had just used her vocal track. I know that she sang on the "Just You Wait" song, and it's much better for it since it doesn't sound so out of character. But that's just me. I liked Rex Harrison's talky singing, it's really fitting for his character. I sometimes find it funny, because I get a little chuckle out of seeing Henry Higgins made to look stupid and Eliza show how awesome she is.

But I don't really feel anything for this. I don't know...why. Do you ever have that experience with a film? It just doesn't click with me very strongly. I had fun watching it today, don't get me wrong, but it wasn't like, provoking strong emotions in me other than snark. Maybe I'm too familiar with it? Maybe I wanted to watch fall TeeVee too badly instead. Maybe I am just unpleasant. I really have no idea, but I just don't really connect to this movie, for whatever reason. It feels off to me, like when you see a comedy that was "good" but you only laughed a handful of times so it's kind of disappointing.

I guess because I feel so apathetic about it, I don't have too much more to say, which makes me look like a lazy slob. But I'd rather spare you from ramblings where I try to paraphrase what Ebert says about it or quote Wikipedia. I enjoy this movie, and it was fun to watch, but nothing really jumps out at me about it. I certainly understand why it's so loved and popular, but it just doesn't really excite me too much.

Have any thoughts about My Fair Lady? Share them in the comments!

Ebert's Great Movie Essay on My Fair Lady
Buy it on Amazon

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