Thursday, February 07, 2008

Christie's Rec, Just in Time for Valentine's Day

In our Thanksgiving tradition, my extended family (my husband and two sons, my bro, s-i-l, niece and nephew) went to the movie theater and this year watched "Across the Universe," a powerful love story set to Beatles music and with the backdrop of the turbulent 1960s. It didn't see a nationwide theatrical release, but is now available in time for February 14--a great gift if your valentine is a Beatles fan.

Or maybe not.

Our group--ages 14 on up--gave it mixed reviews. You or your sweetie might not like how it recasts some of your fave classic songs. If you only like how John, Paul, George, and Ringo do "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" or "Hey Jude," this DVD might not be your cup of herbal tea. Also, the psychadelic, drug-suggestive aspect (from what I could tell, the actors only went so far as to pretend to be smoking marijuana--they had fingers pinched together but no "joint" in evidence) might bother others.

I loved it. I'm a story girl. For me, every song is a story, and to string them into a larger narrative only makes me happier. Oh--and I'm a romantic, obviously, and this is a love story too. Did I mention there's dancing as well? My mom introduced me early to the old-time Hollywood musical, and this gave me the same kind of sigh.

If you've seen "Mama Mia" at the theater or enjoyed "Moulin Rouge" or "Rent" (I loved "Mama Mia" and "Rent" more than "Moulin Rouge") then I think you'll like this a lot. If you only want to hear George Harrison singing "As My Guitar Gently Weeps," well, dig out your CD or, I plead with you to try the "Concert for George" DVD. Fab, fab, fab musical tributes to George Harrison by many stars following his death.

I've name-dropped several musicals. Have you seen any mentioned? Can you recommend any others?


Betina Krahn said...

Christie, I haven't seen this one-- I'm not even sure it's been out in the regular theaters here!

I LOVE the Beatles, and would probably like this one. I'll watch for it in the theaters, but may have to rent it or get the DVD when it comes out.

Valentine's Day is coming up! Gosh--where has the year gone?

Christie Ridgway said...

Betina: I think it's passed the theaters phase. You'll have to rent it on came out this past Tuesday.

I think you'll enjoy it!

Cindy Gerard said...

I saw this DVD advertised and have been intrigued by it. Thanks for the rec. I'm going to have to try it.
LOVED Mamma MIA, Hairspray, of course Grease but my all time fav, while old, old, old is West Side Story. I cried a box of kleenex watching that one when I was a teeny bopper.

Playground Monitor said...

Last year my husband won a walk-on part in a national touring company of "The Producers." I wasn't familiar with the show, but I read an online blurb and they gave us tickets to see the show the night before his big debut. It's a Mel Brooks creation so that should tell you just how irreverent it is. They also gave us 6 tickets for the night of his performance so our friends could come see him on stage. His "performance" was about oh... 20 seconds. He walked on from stage right with a lovely young lady on his arm, handed tickets to an usher and escorted the woman into a theater.

So now I have a special fondness for The Producers -- irreverance and all.

Michele Hauf said...

Moulin Rouge is my all-time favorite musical. I saw Rent and Sweeney Todd and Grease as well. I love any movie that gets you singing after the show. And if it's great I'll wear the soundtrack out.

Not sure if I'll like the movie if I don't get into Beattles music all that much? A friend mentioned there were lots of war scenes, too?


Michele Hauf said...

I think Chitty Chitty Bang Bang counts as a musical too. Yes? That would be my number one. :-)

Cindy Gerard said...

A little off subject - Maureen, if you're out there, you won Debra Webb's giveaway book. Yea! Please contact me at with your snail mail addy so we can get the book mailed to you. thanks, Cindy

Helen Brenna said...

This one's already on my netflix queue. Looking forward to it.

I've seen Moulin Rouge, but not Rent or Mama Mia. Will have to check into those.

My son and I watched an old musical that both of us loved - Fiddler on the Roof. My 13 year old like it. He like it! What a great story and great music. Long though, so if you do plan on watching it settle in with sustenance!

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. LOL

Christie Ridgway said...

The Producers! How fun was that for your hubby to have a walk-on role. I could so go for that.

Christie Ridgway said...

Michele: Sweeney Todd didn't exactly get me singing, though. I think you'd like Across the Universe even if you're not a big Beatles fan. I don't remember being upset by the war scenes...but there are some as well as protest scenes.

Helen: Mama Mia isn't a movie's being made into one now, though. I saw the trailer over Christmas. We saw it with Son 1 and Son 2 in Las Vegas (fabulous seats) and it was so much fun.

Christie Ridgway said...

Ooops, meant to add...

I just saw the DVD at Costco for $19.29 in case you want to gift it to someone. I'm getting it for Surfer Guy who is a big Beatles fan.

Kathleen Eagle said...

I guess everyone knows that I can get pretty nostalgic about the 60's. I'm a Beatles fan-atic, but I love to hear different interpretations of their music. Just proves how good it is. I'm putting this on my cue as we speak.

West Side Story is one of my faves, too, but the first time I made Clyde watch it, he used a George Kennedy line from one of his favorite Westerns--"I think I'm gonna be sick." It was the Jets vs Sharks song. He used to do a parody, complete with pirouette.

Mama was such a musical movie fan, and it rubbed off on me. I know most of the 50's and 60's greats by heart. I love that my granddaughters are crazy about them, too. So glad Disney still puts music in the animated movies. I just watched Mary Poppins with the girls. "Feed the Birds" had me in tears when that one first came out. I'm a big boo-hooer at the movies.

Christie Ridgway said...

Oh, my boys loved all things Disney, Kathleen. I miss those days, since they're passed that now. Well, they still love to visit the theme parks. But that joy doesn't ever go away, does it?

Debra Dixon said...

Hey, Christie-- I was debating about seeing this! Thanks for the details.