An American in Pairs (1951)

In January 2021, I watched a handful of Best Picture winners and decided that it was time to focus on watching the remaining 69 movies I needed to see to complete the list. By the time you read this review, I’ll have watched and reviewed over 70 of those films, with some amazing stories and some rather terrible ones. An American in Paris is by far the worse film I’ve seen so far, and I got less than 25 movies to go.

I did not like the singing or the characters. I also really didn’t care for the angle of two guys being in love with the same girl. It is hard to hate a film that won six Oscars, but this particular film is an acquired taste.

An American in Paris was successful for the singing, dancing, performances, and setting. Paris is a beautiful city that I have yet to visit, but there is an endless list of magical places to see and be taken in. This film doesn’t disappoint in that regard, putting the main characters in elegant spots and using those spaces to tell a story about love.

For me, Paris was the only aspect the film had going for it since I couldn’t stand the music, the daydreaming, and the cluelessness of many of the main characters. Love is blind, and when two people love the same person, it can be really problematic. What I also didn’t like was how Lise (Leslie Caron) played both guys Jerry (Gene Kelly) and Henri (Georges Guetary). I get that being chased is a fun aspect of falling in love, but when two guys fall in love with you, you have to shoulder some of the blame.

It has taken me my entire life to watch this classical musical, and it is safe to say that it will take another lifetime to watch it again. Just the other day, I wondered if I was too harsh in my assessment, and if I watched it again, maybe I could come to a different conclusion. That is an internal fight I am willing to have for years to come because, for now, I don’t think I could bring myself to do it. 1/10

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