Review: Gigi (1958)

gigi

A musical that falls flat!

Screenplay By: Alan Jay Lerner
Directed By: Vincente Minnelli

A movie should grab you, it should get your attention and not let go. Gigi fails to do that on every level imaginable. You aren’t given a single reason to care about any of the characters or their actions. You spend an hour with these characters and you don’t once get to actually know them. When Gigi finally decides it is time to change things up and have the characters realize how they actually feel, you don’t care, and why should you? What do all the character realizations in the world matter when you don’t care about the characters to begin with? They don’t matter and because of that Gigi as a movie never grabs you, it never takes a hold of you and carries you along for the ride. Gigi could have been a charming little movie, but it lacked the necessary ability to make the viewer care.

Gigi isn’t a bad movie, it just didn’t do it for me. I didn’t like the characters, I didn’t find the story to be engaging and I found the musical numbers to be droll and boring. But, I can see why others would feel differently, because it did look beautiful with wonderful costumes and locations. However I cannot in any way agree with the overall message of Gigi. Gigi tries to put forth the message that in order for one to be happy, in order for one to find their love in life all your youthful exuberance must be stripped away until you are left a soulless aristocrat. The movie trumpets Gigi’s change from a girl full of life and energy into yet another ordinary stuck up aristocratic woman as a great moment, the moment when she becomes a woman. Well, if that is a good thing then I don’t ever want to be good because I would take the youthful and childish Gigi over the adult and interchangeable with any other woman Gigi every day of the week.

Gigi was the Academy Awards winner for best picture in 1958, but like usual the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has let me down. There wasn’t a single factor in Gigi that made me want to ever see it again or made me leave the viewing experience thinking “There might be something that I missed.” If you are looking for good musicals then look beyond Gigi. But, if you are looking for a boring, soulless entry into the musical genre then Gigi is the film for you.

Rating:

**

Cheers,
Bill Thompson

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