Musical 52

Watch 52 musicals, one every week, in 2015.


Oh boy, well… when I set out to watch a musical a week for this blog, my goal was to pick four from every decade that I had never seen before. Unfortunately, we as a society just really hated musicals in the 1990s, so I’m down to one made by a human piece of filth. Wait, excuse me, “alleged” human piece of filth. It’s Everyone Says I Love You, a collection of songs and actors that can’t sing singing them, written and directed by Woody Allen. Good for that guy.


Yup, that’s my whole first paragraph.

This is almost a self-parody of the exact sort of musical I hate, where songs just fucking happen because we haven’t had one for a few minutes, and the “plot” is just a frame to hang them on. There’s a big boring rich family and the mom’s ex still hangs around and one of them might get married and the son is the only conservative like on Family Ties and they’re a quirky bunch of quirky people with quirks. It’s like a shitty Royal Tenenbaums with musical numbers that the director didn’t even write, and my idea of a shitty Royal Tenenbaums is The Royal Tenenbaums.

Eh, go cry in your craft beer about it, you boring person, you.

Woody Allen’s character spends the movie learning what a woman almost half his age likes in a partner and then lies about himself so he can have sex with her. I guess that would be funny if he weren’t played by a man who flies right past little fibs into sexual abuse territory with someone much much younger than Julia Roberts.

Um, allegedly.

Holy shit, there are so many people in this movie and most of them don’t have anything to do. Look at this cast; would you not see ANY movie with all this talent? And yet, I’m scrambling to remember performances just as much as plotlines. Edward Norton is some plucky guy that wants to marry Drew Barrymore?

Bad news, she’s gonna leave him for Mark Ruffalo.

Tim Roth plays a slick ex-con?

Shit, wrong Hulk joke. She’ll leave him for Abomination?

Natasha Lyonne is a spunky New Yorker kid?

I spent a lot of this movie telling young actresses to run away.

Everyone else is as charming or funny or child molester-y or Julia Roberts-y as they are in any other film. There you go.

I’m so desperate for a fourth ’90s musical that I’m officially breaking my “Needs at Least a Handful of Original Songs” rule (along with my goes-without-saying “Try to Avoid Movies Made By People That ‘Allegedly’ Assault Seven-Year-Olds” rule). Every number in the film is a pre-existing jazz standard or comes from another musical, so there’s really no point in analyzing lyrics. The sequences themselves, however, are why a film with no original story, characters, or songs is so critically acclaimed.

SURPRISE! EDWARD NORTON SINGING BY A FOUNTAIN! WHO IS HE? FUCK YOU, IT’S MOVIE TIME! And this is how Everyone Says I Love You begins, some handsome fella singing “Just You, Just Me” to a pretty lady, setting the tone for the classic songs and lack of character development to follow.

“Make a wish!”
“I wish I never met Tom Green.”

At some point marriage is a plot point, so it’s off to a jewelry store for a big-ass dance number to “My Baby Just Cares For Me,” to let us know that this musical means business and won’t be all milquetoast guys singing passably into fountains.

Or is this a deleted scene from Blood Diamond?

I mention the passable singing because this film’s whole gimmick is supposed to be that all the actors aren’t professional vocalists and croon the way schlubs like you and I do… which all goes out the window because Drew Barrymore’s rendition of “I’m a Dreamer, Aren’t We All?” is obviously and verifiably dubbed.

Why, it’s almost like integrity matters less than a chance to film Drew in a nightie.

Then somebody gets a tummy ache so we can have a bunch of doctors, nurses, and patients sing “Makin’ Whoopee,” because when I think of hot places to hump, number one with a bullet is a hospital.

I should probably watch Whoopee!, shouldn’t I?

Woody Allen limply sings “I’m Through With Love” all by himself because awww, look at the tortured genius.


My notes tell me that Julia Roberts does a song, but my memory doesn’t.

Oh, yeah, this one, I guess. Weird.

In a very sweet moment, random hunk Billy Crudup sings “Cuddle Up a Little Closer” to Natasha Lyonne in a taxicab, and the driver (Sanjeev Ramabhadran) unexpectedly joins in in Hindi. It’s so lovely that I don’t even care that it has no bearing on anything whatsoever.

Real shame this scene was made by garbage.

Hey, you know who’s a lot of fun on a piano? Alan Alda. No idea if he’s actually playing “Looking at You,” since we never see his hands, but damn, we need a movie where Alan plays a nightclub singer.

Or, you know, just a fun grandpa that sings a lot.

Tim Roth kisses Drew Barrymore after she explicitly tells him not to and then smoothes over it by singing, “If I Had You,” which, wait, no, that’s still creepy.

He’s been in prison and needs kissing practice, wait, still not helping.

SURPRISE AGAIN! DANCING GHOSTS! LOOK OUT! WE’RE AT A FUNERAL AND THERE ARE DANCING GHOSTS! This scene would have been great in a musical about, you know, supernatural shit, but it’s really jarring in what is otherwise a normal story about normal people who break into song.

Everyone is a Ghost

Yeah, be dull and sad like real life, ya stupid MOVIE.

Hey, is that Ren from Even Stevens dressed like a banana? It sure is! We haven’t had a tune for a few minutes, so Christy Carlson Romano pops by during Halloween and sings “Chiquita Banana,” and I cringingly hope to God this isn’t just because Woody Allen has a very specific anthropomorphic fruit fetish.

What a delightful and innocent moment—RUN, REN, RUN.

Then a bunch of Groucho Marxes sing “Hooray for Captain Spaulding” in French. Okay.

Is this over yet?

And finally, Woody and Goldie Hawn duet “I’m Through With Love” and do a classy moonlit dance complete with magical wirework. It’s really great and is probably why everyone says they love this movie.

Nice work, suspected pederast.

Wait, how can I pick the worst lyric when all these songs weren’t written for the movie? Okay, well, I’ve always thought the phrase “makin’ whoopee” sounded stupid, so that, I guess…

“Another season, another reason for makin’ whoopee…”

Everyone wants to make Singin’ in the Rain, but Baz Luhrmann did a better job of stealing pre-existing songs for Moulin Rouge! than Woody Allen did for Everyone Says I Love You, and you’re hearing this from someone who doesn’t really like Moulin Rouge! Rain and Rouge both have coherent, interesting plots, while Everyone feels like a (rich) drunk uncle saying, “I like these songs, I wanna do these songs.” It has a few impressive throwback musical sequences, but the film as a whole is a boring suckfest.

Pardon me, “alleged” boring suckfest.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)