A film about objectification, desire, ambition, regret, jealousy, the thrill of performance; about doing something for the love of it & not for the fame. On-stage drama spills out behind the scenes; sense of joie de vivre, traces of Cocteau (as Kelly breaks the mirrored illusion of the screen to free himself of the id) & pure romanticism lead to a visual spectacle far greater than anything in today's CG blockbusters.
This one shouldn't be as good (the unremarkable Charles Vidor, Phil Silvers as one of the worst sidekicks I can remember) but, by sticking to some backstage musical tropes, playing intelligently with the flashback structure in style in the 40s and amping up the formal extravaganza it becomes a valuable object from the "Old Hollywood Going Slightly Weird" gallery.
Unavoidable campy at points, Cover Girl is nonetheless a wonderfully charming slice of WWII-era Americana, with surprisingly robust characters and a lovely color palette. Feel-good film at its finest. And Gene Kelly has a danceoff with a hallucination of himself, which is worth the price of admission alone.
Hayworth is lovely. A 5 star film, but I feel like Silvers was miscast and is quite annoying here. Deducting one star, othewise a joy from start to finish. Scene with Kelly dancing with himself is must see