Synopsis (according to AFI):
The Romeo and Juliet tale gets resurfaced on the streets of New York with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, based on their breakthrough Broadway hit. The Sharks and the Jets mix it up for some of the most memorable dance sequences in film history.
LET ME EXPLAIN...
Let me start by saying this is kind of a re-watch for me in that I remember seeing it on the television in band class when we'd have a sub, but I never really paid much attention. However, I did include this in my initial post as one of the films I had already seen. Oh well...
Anyway, this viewing taught me something about myself: I'm really not a fan of the musical genre. I thought I was because "Singin' in the Rain" is a great movie, and I really enjoyed the live production of "Les Miserables", "The Lion King", and "Blood Brothers". Maybe I'm just more of a fan of live musicals, but even considering that, I have absolutely no desire to ever see "West Side Story" live (nor "Cats" for that matter. Even though that has nothing to do with anything about this post, I just wanted to include that in my list of musicals I never want to see).
I was bored 15 minutes into this (I know because I remember thinking "Oh man....another 2 hours and 15 minutes to go..."). I was not a fan of the music, which surprised me because most famous musicals have at least a few numbers that are catchy and fun. I didn't think any of the songs in this were really that good.
There was also the difficulty of getting into the story. First, when it's about supposed "tough" gangs in New York, but you see them twirling in the air and dance-fighting with their rivals, it's REALLY difficult to not mock. On top of that, the love story was pretty weak (I sensed NO chemistry between the two leads, though the girl did the best she could in her role).
The only real redeeming part of the movie was the ending. It was a fairly good and climactic ending, but the rest of it was tough to get through.
What makes this a "Top 100" Movie?
I'm the wrong guy to ask. For some reason it's an acclaimed musical, and the AFI synopsis says it has some of the most memorable dance sequences in film history. Whatever. It also - somehow - won 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. I'm perplexed, because I thought this was a pretty lame movie (though the leader of the Sharks DID have a performance worthy of the Best Supporting Actor Oscar he won).
LET ME SUM UP...
I may be in the minority here, but I did not like this movie. The music and lyrics were surprisingly bad, the dancing - while done well - was a horrible style to depict two street gangs in a turf war. The love story was weak with little chemistry. The ending made the movie not a TOTAL waste, but still not enough to redeem the rest of it.
MY RATING: 3/10 (1 lower from my previous rating)