Kiss Me Kate (1953)
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Not great. The premise is interesting—a stage performance of a musical version of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, bookended by backstage drama/shenanigans which end up seeping into the show—and I might have stopped to wonder if the film pulls off this structural conceit if I hadn't been so busy not giving a shit about any of the characters. One can tell that most everybody onscreen thinks what they are doing is Very Cool, but one wonders what they have to be so cocky about. There are far too many pointless musical numbers that overstay their welcome ("Brush Up Your Shakespeare" being a prime offender), and the gags which the filmmakers clearly thought would have audiences roaring with laughter elicited only groans from me. The narrative feels, more often than not, completely forced, leading to an ending that is at once totally predictable and entirely unearned. Other irksome details include the overly formal, vibrato-turned-up-to-eleven singing voices of the two leads, and the fact that, because the film was shot in 3D, the performers keep throwing shit at the camera for no reason. The movie is at its best when everyone just shuts up and dances, with the three suitor characters (one of whom is played by a young Bob Fosse) being a particular joy to watch. The highlight of the film is their stellar dance number that comes in the last 10 minutes; whether you want to sit through the rest of a pretty dire picture in order to make it that much sweeter, or just look it up on YouTube is up to you.
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In 2 official lists
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This movie ranks #46 in 100 Musicals (BFI Screen Guide)
This movie ranks #353 in Jonathan Rosenbaum's Essential Films