Minnelli: "the painter of life's nightmare." I wholly disagree with any critic who claims this to be a stylistically impressive film which nevertheless reflects the status quo. Those who really listen to & look at what Minnelli is presenting will see a film which punishingly critiques capitalism & patriarchal proclivities. The staging here(!!!), the stressing of money, the tragedy of Liz Taylor's complacency. Scary!!
Minnelli's use of deep focus staging and continuity is astounding. His omniscient camera reminds one of Welles but his visual gags bring him closer to Lubitsch's elliptical style. The dream sequence is amazing but nothing beats the beauty of the end: Spencer Tracy (the best of the classical actors) recognizing that, after all, nothing has changed. In short, if Minnelli is not a genius, then I don't know who is.
Took me by surprise but then I'm not sure why I expecting anything sub par for Minnelli. Immensely cinematic and inventive(see the dream sequence) portrait of male insecurities, aging, and middle class angst under a seemingly nostalgic guise.
Well shot, well timed but emotionally un-engaging. Tracy plays one of his mostly unlikable stock characters, Taylor beautiful but empty and rest of supporting cast nothing more than bit players. Dream sequence a delight but overall a dated timepiece. One can't just get over what a jerk of a character 'father' is.
Nothing new under the sun for this wedding comedy, expect the perfect nightmare scene. The three stars save the rest (Spencer Tracy is just perfectly casted). The fact that you see the story from his perspective makes it funny of course but also very old fashion, even by the standards of the fifties, and at times the film looks like an advertising for traditional american values. Touches of Minnelli here or there.
An excellent comedy for the whole family. The whole cast is impeccable, as is Minnelli's direction and pacing. Taylor gives a career defining performance, and a polar opposite to one of her other early career triumphs A Place In The Sun. An easy film to recommend. Pop some popcorn and be taken away to a simpler time
As a father, I consider this film a horror-comedy. Minnelli does very well w/ the material, including some mice touches like a suitor montage & a surreal nightmare wedding. But this film belongs to Tracy, who rightfully earned his Oscar nom. What happens to him may be only various comic set pieces but he nails it whether it's physical humor or verbal punchlines. And when the parents dance after the party? Perfection.