Originally posted on emerysanborne.com on October 8, 2011.
I finally broke down and bought the two volume Fed Astaire and Ginger Rogers collection (much cheaper than the complete collection of all the movies together, go figure). I’ve seen six of their ten films, first on AMC when it was American Movie Classics in more than just name, then on VHS and if lucky Turner Classic Movies. I loved them all, even if they were formulaic at times. The music was good and the dancing stellar, and Rogers and Astaire had chemistry on the floor and off. Above all you walk away feeling good, and these days that’s nothing to discount.
So, Flying Down to Rio, their first outing on the screen and the first of their films I haven’t seen before. The cable channels always showed the more popular ones and this wasn’t a starring vehicle for either of them, which is a little disconcerting even knowing that going in. I will say that I did like seeing Fred in the buddy/sidekick role. I honestly think it plays better to his comedic and acting strengths than when he’s the lead. But it’s Fred Astaire, supporting role might be stronger acting wise but presentation-wise it’s gotta be lead. He only bottoms for Ginger anyway. Erm… *shifty eyes* Movie! Right. Ginger’s pretty solid here and makes a good impression with a pretty minor role. That one guy who’s in half the Astaire and Rogers films is here as well, Eric Blore if I figured right, which made me smile.
The main plot of a triangle between the band leader, the gorgeous Brazilian woman he falls in love with, and her fiancé back in Brazil who happens to be bad leader’s best friend. Julio, the fiancé, was definitely the better man, so naturally the blond playboy American gets the girl. No shocker, although I had hope for a bit that things would play out differently. Then I remembered what genre and from when and yeah. That’s okay though, he’s gone off to mend his broken heart with Honey and Fred (Ginger and Fred–I know, very creative naming!). There’s also a secondary plot, not well developed, about a Greek casino or crime syndicate trying to sabotage lead girl’s father’s hotel opening and everyone finding a way to have opening night entertainment without a permit (the dancing girls get strapped to planes and the band sneaks their instruments into the restaurant very obviously). Sometimes you just gotta sit back and let the pretty pictures and music distract you.
All in all it was a decent watch that entertains and shows the potential to come.
Of course, I have one thing that won’t leave me alone. How did Honey get the gig singing with the band? She’s chummy with Fred and Roger (the lead), did one of them bring her on or did she try out? That’s the story I want. 🙂