Movies like this one make me question my artistic integrity. I mean, I comprehend the man who directed this film, Robert Altman, is a living legend. I understand some of the biggest and most respected names in the entertainment business such as Streep, Jones, Kline, Keillor, Tomlin, and Reilly were more than willing to take smaller parts to be a part of it (I have no idea how Lindsay Lohan landed such a big role . . . maybe to try to bring in a younger market). I know I’m supposed to totally love it.
I just don’t.
I don’t love it. Sure, I enjoyed the vintage Altman dialogue and pace, I loved watching the ensemble acting, I even felt myself “wowed” by Streep’s singing; however, I simply didn’t like the movie.
That makes me sad.
It makes me sad because it means that somebody is missing a beat. Either the movie missed a beat, or I missed a beat, and I don’t like those possibilities. I wanted to like this movie, you see, I really, really wanted to like it.
I just didn’t.
The movie is basically about a radio program filmed before a live audience in a massive theatre, a dinosaur concept in the age of television. Unfortunately, this is the program’s very last night on air, though the audience doesn’t seem to know that nor do all the of the cast, it seemed. Well, there are many, many different things going on backstage, none of which come anywhere near a plot. I looked at my wife at one point and said, “Is this all improvisation?”
The actors were wonderful, the singing proved engaging, but the story simply didn’t add up. If you’re into musicals and don’t mind a lack of a story with a definite beginning and ending, you may very well enjoy this movie. Otherwise, you should probably give it a pass.