Friday, October 24, 2008

Why the Gay Divorcee makes me dance and smile.

Aunt Hortense: Be feminine and sweet. If you can blend the two.

Egbert Fitzgerald: Guy, you're not pining for that girl!
Guy Holden: Pining? Men don't pine. Girls pine. Men just... suffer.

Tonetti: Your wife is safe with Tonetti, he prefers spaghetti

Review Summary

Based on Dwight Taylor and Cole Porter's play of the same name, The Gay Divorcee centers on Mimi (Ginger Rogers), a woman seeking a divorce from her husband. Mimi travels to an English seaside resort, pursued by the love-stricken Guy (Fred Astaire), whom she mistakes for the hired correspondent in her divorce case. Among the many musical numbers featured are "Night and Day," the only song from the original Broadway musical included in the film, and "The Continental," which won the first ever Academy Award for Best Song.

Guy Holden: Chance is the fool's name for fate.

Ten Brief Reasons Why This is One Of The Greatest Films Ever. Ever!
1. Songs. Dancing. Whipsnap dialogue. Idiots. Geniuses. Plot. Twists. Misunderstandings. Love. Divorce. Gay. Puppets. Toasted scones. All your basic ingredients for a gimcrackery split of a film!

2. Beautiful heroine. Angry, stand-offish, witty, married, doe-eyed, dances like a spinning top, married. Wearing a beret. Who could ask for more?

3. Fred Astaire with his peanut shaped head. The Michael Stipe of his day. As thin as a cigarette. Puzzled, frowning, wickedly devoted to a woman he's barely met, feet sliding like he's on castors, spinning like an office chair, charismatic, not very tall. Genius.

4. Brighton has never looked lovelier! Brighton has never looked more like a Hollywood set. Which is what it is, clearly. And that's funny. The Ingerlish countryside has a CaliforneeI.A. look to it too. And the drivers sit on the left, American style. But it's Hollywood 1934. Was there really a Great Depression on then? Who woulda known watching this?

5. Aunt Hortense & Egbert Fitzgerald are far better than Will & Grace's sidekicks. And far more *gay* in the modern sense. She's a boiler; he's a lemon sucker, afraid of all females. (Note to self: A *lemon sucker*? I hope that isn't derogatory? I have no idea what I mean by that. The words just plonk themselves onto the *page*... Turns out I wasn't far wrong according to urban dictionary. He has got a face like a smacked arse & she is definitely a lemon sucker...)

6. Cole Porter songs. And Betty Grable or Fred or Ginger dancing - make you want to stand up in your living room and pretend to dance along. Who needs Playstation 3 Dance games?

7. Did I mention the dialogue?
Aunt Hortense: You know, you're beginning to fascinate me, and I resent that in any man.

Mimi Glossop: I hope you like what I ordered. I've never had breakfast with two men before.
Guy Holden: I've tried it. It's no fun.

8, & 9. I don't want to overplay things. In the last 20 minutes the plot has to coalesce and everyone stands around looking surprised, then rushes around in a farcical funk, before it all gets settled happily and Fred & Ginge can get it together. Well, hold hands & kiss. But she's already married! It's about divorce. And it's clearly gay in its tone as well as its name. So it's far from run-of-the-mill. And even if it is, it's a smiley old mill.

10. I love it. All critical facilities spent while pretending to tap dance on carpet. Yip. And more yips.
And when you G00gle it. You get to find out that *funnyman* Matt Lucas has just completed the first ever gay divorce in Britain. Which is... actually not that interesting.


Guy Holden: Can I offer you anything? Frosted chocolate? Cointreau? Benedictine? Marriage?
Mimi Glossop: What was that last one?
Guy Holden: Benedictine?
Mimi Glossop: No, the one after that.
Guy Holden: Oh, marriage?
Mimi Glossop: Do you always propose marriage as casually as that?

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