Beth’s Classic Film Club: An American In Paris

You guys! Get your popcorn and box wine because it’s movie club time! And this month, I’m telling you about my favorite movie EVER: An American In Paris. Oh my gosh, I can’t even talk about this movie without getting all verklempt. Where do I even start…

OK, so Gene Kelly. GENE KELLY. Gene Kelly…so dreamy. I know Fred Astaire is like this dancing god or whatever, but fuck him, I’d rather watch Gene Kelly on film any day of the week and twice on Sunday. First off, he just completely embodies romance and sensuality. You know how people talk about Marilyn Monroe as this sex goddess? Well, Gene was a sex god. You just can’t help but be wooed by him. And where Marilyn had those amazing breasts, Gene’s got that butt. JESUS THAT BUTT. And he’s in tight pants half the time, it’s FANTASTIC. When he dances, he doesn’t have to speak, because his body says everything. And not only is he amazing to watch, I mean, the guy was one hell of a choreographer and he won a special Oscar for his choreography in this film.

The rest of the cast is great too. Leslie Caron is everything her character is supposed to be–vivacious and modern, simple, reads incessantly, full of life, sweet and shy. How someone so new to acting pulled off this part, well, let’s just say she must be a genius. Oscar Levant is perfect as the master of snark. Georges Guetary is more wise than he seems, and Nina Foch is less wise than she seems.

The story is about love, and loyalty. And it’s poignant and funny and beautiful, and you should watch it with a box of tissues and just let the milieu of post-war Paris, where everyone is still a little traumatized but struggling towards happiness, wash over you. Remember as you watch it that Gene’s character was in the shit 6 years earlier. Remember that Leslie’s character had her childhood destroyed by the war. And oh my gosh, the music! Gershwin. It’s so perfect for Gene to dance to.

My favorite scene is one in which Oscar, Gene and Georges are sitting in the cafe, and Georges gives Gene some advice about love. It’s a perfect scene on so many levels. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but in the comments, I want to hear what you think of it.

This film is semi-regularly on TCM, including THIS SUNDAY! Check your local listings for show times. It’s also readily available for purchase online on DVD for not very much money.

I can’t wait to hear what you think about An American In Paris. I hope you’ll love it as much as I do!

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