I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Movie Musical Challenge: Funny Girl

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
In Movie Musical Challenge, I'm watching all 25 picks for AFI's Greatest musicals starting from the bottom.  Number 16 is the 1968 film Funny Girl starring Barbra Streisand and Omar Sharif.

This is a musical I am familiar with since my Mom likes two movie musicals and this is one of them.  (The other being The Sound of Music of course!)  I remember seeing this when I was young, and it being on in the background sometimes, so it was great to watch it again and remember how all the songs went.  Barbra Streisand is luminous as Fanny Brice - it's hilarious how she keeps downplaying her looks, because she is gorgeous, as well as playing the humor and the tragedy of Fanny just right.  And of course her singing is phenomenal - this is Streisand after all.

I didn't quite remember how much this story felt like a tragic tale though since with re-watching it, I felt a little sad over the romance.  It's very sweet in it's way and Omar Sharif plays the part of a flawed, charming gadabout perfectly.  I can totally understand why Fanny falls for him because he is so handsome and that charm is a killer.   I was thinking how similar the relationship is between Fanny and Nicky and the two main characters in Show Boat (a musical I watched earlier for this challenge).  But in Show Boat it ends happily, while in Funny Girl I think it ends realistically which is fine.  It shows the maturity of these characters in different ways.  I sometimes felt that Fanny made a mistake being so taken with Nicky, but this movie showed how easily you can lose your heart.  The only sour aspect of that is in how Fanny seemed to blame herself for losing Nicky, when it's anything but her fault.  Clearly Nicky is at fault for not being able to control his addiction and be the husband he needed to be to Fanny and their child.

With the title of the film being "Funny Girl" I should point out that there are still lots of laughs despite the tragic nature of the romance!  I really enjoyed almost all the songs, and especially how Fanny could turn a serious number into a comic one, but I think my favorite song and scene from the film is the "Don't Rain on My Parade" sequence.  It's filmed so well with Fanny journeying to catch up with Nicky, and I loved the sense of optimism and self-confidence that the song exudes.  Despite all of the things that happens to Fanny, I love that she never loses those qualities.  This is a wonderful musical!

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