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.
2,5 yes, it's studio film and unfortunately in a bad sense. Why? You hardly find any language, giving the sensation that every single director could make this film. The camara doesn't move, always static in some big shot of the stage. Still, you have an incredible scene protagonize by Gene Kelly that's absolut mesmerizing (when he dance with is one reflection).
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.
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.