I have been curious to see this movie since I heard it was in the works. Kevin Kline is always fun to watch, and Ashley Judd (as much of a dip as she may be) is ridiculously beautiful. The story of Cole Porter’s life is one that lends itself to movie making.
Unfortunately, the story has never been well told. This telling was a bit too “All That Jazz” in it’s presentation. I enjoyed the technique in that movie, don’t get me wrong, but it’s already been done – and much more effectively. I did enjoy Jonathan Pryce in the role of ‘host’, but he is no Ben Vereen (the host in All That Jazz).
I enjoyed De-Lovely, and I am glad I watched it, but it was not the movie it could have (or should have) been. The only two people in my life that I would recommend it to watched it with me, so on the Word of Mouth Scale it only rates one.
I think perhaps my disappointment may have been fueled by the songs, made over by contemporary artists. Singers who are not up to the task. Alanis Morrisette’s version of “Let’s Do It” is particularly painful. Sheryl Crow has nowhere near the vocal talent required for “Begin The Beguine”. Whether it was the performers or the arrangers, the wink and a smile that Porter wrote into his songs is sadly absent on most of the film tracks. The interpretations feature affectations that would not have been heard in that era.
Rotten Tomatoes: Critics 48%; Audience 61%