In lieu of the usual, more recent films out there, I thought I would take the time to write some reviews about a few older films that I have only watched recently.
I start by speaking about the “The Producers”, the 2nd film version of the musical performed on Broadway. This version features Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick and Uma Thurman. I never saw the previous version with the late and very great Gene Wilder, so this was entirely new to me. The film centers on a hack of a producer that is notorious for producing some really awful Broadway shows. Nathan Lane plays this role with relish, and he is positively wonderful to watch. Allow me to say that a large portion of this musical on film is devoted to the zany and often very silly humor that made this Broadway show such a hit. It works too.
Matthew Broderick comes along into the story as a spineless and quirky accountant that stumbles upon a “brilliant plan” of making more money off a bad show than a hit show. I usually don’t think of Broderick as a singer or a dancer – or funny to tell the truth – but he was talented in all of these ways in the film. He is utterly likeable in this role and his hysterical 1st meeting with Nathan Lane’s character is priceless!
Uma Thurman plays the Swedish bombshell that comes into both of these gentleman’s lives and mixes it up with both of them. Her singing was impressive, and I was really surprised by that. I mean, I like her as an actress and all, but she has a pretty fantastic voice! Who knew? I guess that was the surprise of this movie for me. The story is funny, but the performers really impressed me. I knew that Lane would be a smash hit, but Broderick and Thurman really “wowed” me.
Add Will Ferrell as the crazy nut who pens the insane musical “Springtime for Hitler” and this show has a lot of laughs already built into it. Ferrell is a delight in this role. His scene on top of the roof with the 2 unlikely partners interested in producing his musical is classic! There is a fabulous scene also involving the director of the show, played by Max Beach. For those of us who know theatre and the lifestyle of Broadway, this scene is perfect humor.
Ultimately, I would recommend this film for anyone who likes musicals with a sense of humor. There are a lot of laughs in this one! I hope some of you give it a chance because you may just be impressed by the talent in this movie like I was. Regardless, you’ll laugh quite a bit!
…and that’s it for this edition of THE REEL VOICE