Thursday, April 2, 2009
Day Seventy-Six: Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) - Rank 4/5
Within the past two months, I've had three friends recommend this film to me. Stranger is the fact that they're all guys. Stranger still is that they're all straight (allegedly), despite a love for Judy Garland musicals. While I can't say that I disliked the film (in all honesty, I find it hard to dislike anything filmed in three-strip technicolor), I don't see what's to love about it. It's simply a pleasant film, nothing more. A true exercise in cinematic happiness.
Actually, I think it's worth noting that the story excels in obsequious pleasantness. There are no antagonists, no climaxes, and no real conflicts (though when the premise of the film surrounds a popular song created two scores before the film, I shouldn't expect anything too complex). The toughest obstacles the characters must overcome is worrying whether the family's youngest daughter was abused, whether Judy's beau will have a tux in time for the Christmas dance or whether the family will move away from St. Louis before the world's fair. Each dilemma has about a two minute period of "tension" before everything is declared to be alright once more. Though it is worth noting that the film takes a very surreal turn as children "kill" their neighbors on Halloween shortly before a declaration of their disdain felt towards the victim. And no, I'm not making that last bit up.
The appeal to the film, I suppose, is its music. A number of songs, from "The Trolley Song" to "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" have a catchy quality about them, not unlike a fever. You want to get it out of your head, but you cannot. It's just best to let the song run its course (though none of them were as infectious as the smallpox of the movie world - "Mr. Peacock"). No, "The Trolley Song's" coming back! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
Watch the Trailer