A Little Night Music…

~Sunday~ Bob Netflixed the 1977 movie, A Little Night Music, which he’d actually never seen, and with the synopsis sounding reasonably engaging, I said, “Sure, I’ll watch it with you.”

Its biggest draw, for me, was that it contained Sondheim music in general, and the song Send in the Clowns in particular, which I love used to love until Liz Taylor’s version, which is enough to elicit the tears of a clown.

The synopsis

“Fredrik Egerman is very happy in his marriage to a seventeen-year-old virgin, Anne. Only she’s been a virgin for the whole eleven months of the marriage, and being a bit restless, Fredrik goes to see an old flame, the famous actress Desiree Armfeldt. Desiree is getting tired of her life, and is thinking of settling down, and sets her sights on Fredrik, despite his marriage, and her own married lover Count Carl-Magnus. She gets her mother to invite the Egermans to her country estate for the weekend. But when Carl-Magnus and his wife Charlotte appear, too, things begin to get farcical, and the night must smile for the third time before all the lovers are united.” ~ From IMDB

The trailer

My thoughts and observations

  • So much to not like in this movie. Film critic, Vincent Canby, in his March 8, 1978 New York Times movie review, probably said it best, “[T]he film adaptation of the Broadway show not only fails to raise the spirits; it also tramples on them.”
  • Liz is a little haggard in this movie. Canby notes in his review, “There’s no reason why Miss Taylor should be photographed so unflatteringly (unless she gave the orders)…”
  • The little girl playing Liz’s character’s daughter has the most annoying voice, particularly at the beginning of the film when she does a lot of the singing.
  • Speaking of the singing, most of the people in this film can’t sing very well. Bless their hearts—or throats, as it were.
  • Themes touched on in this movie included:
    • Love
    • Love triangles
    • Love quadrangles
    • Women as property; men as peacocks
    • May-September romances
    • Stepmother-son romances
    • Aging divas and fading careers
    • Jealousy
    • Out-of-wedlock children
    • Musicals gone bad
  • I gave no thumbs up at all to this movie.

Have you seen this movie? If so, what did you think of it?

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