I have to admit I went into this film slightly against Fred Astaire. But seriously he played Audrey Hepburn’s love interest in Funny Face when he was thirty years her senior, and I really wasn’t looking forward to seeing this cradle robber in another movie. And although Astaire and his love interest in Swing Time, weren’t born in the same century, he was not old enough to be her father, and that provided a small amount of comfort. That said, this movie was amazing, and though I am partial to black and white films from the 30’s and 40’s (I rather specific thing to be partial to, I know) it was really wonderful – as long as you throw your moral compass out the window.
Basically, the film is about a performer named Lucky, played by Fred Astaire, who misses his wedding because his so called friends are terrible people, and must earn 25,000 dollars in order to marry the girl. So he goes to New York to earn the money through gambling. There, he meets a dance instructor named Penny, played by Ginger Rogers. The two become professional dancers, and begin to fall in love. Now I am all for being with the one you love, but shouldn’t you tell your fiance that you won’t be coming home? Like ever? Just so she can get on with her life.
But that isn’t the only wedding that is ruined. Penny is going to marry this man who is clearly very much in love with her (although she doesn’t care for him), until Lucky decides to pull the same prank that made him miss his own wedding. Was he just so thrilled that his friend’s ruined his wedding, that he simply needs to do it to someone else? Not cool Astaire. And what does the would be groom do when he realizes what happens? Just laughs with everyone else and starts to conduct the orchestra for his would be groom and her new boyfriend. I’m sorry weren’t you madly in love with her? Wouldn’t you be a little more upset? Maybe he saw the love and amazing dancing partnership between Astaire and Rodgers, I guess that would make it okay. I mean it’s not even fair how amazingly they can dance.
I’m twelve types of jealous and would seriously recommend watching the entire dance
Another thing that was pretty not cool, was the whole black face thing. I think the black face dance went on for a little too long, although I’m pretty sure you could say that about every black faced dance ever. And then Astaire kept the makeup on after his dance was over, which just made it that much more uncomfortable. And I felt bad, because I’m sure his dance was amazing, but I could not stop thinking about how unbelievably inappropriate it was. Oh Astaire, couldn’t you dance without offending an entire ethnicity?
Despite the mild racism, and the bucket full of home wreckers, I have to say I really liked the movie. There was amazing dancing and a happy ending, for some of the characters.
4 out of 5 well coordinated home wreckers