What’s not to love about Musicals?

I’ve recently  been having a jokey debate with my husband and another male friend over my reticence to enjoy the entire Star Wars franchise. To clarify, I have never said I don’t like the films merely that I don’t see the necessity of watching them over and over.  They belong to a category of films I label “Okay to watch once”. I have watched these films ad finitum it seems lately due to the amount of repeats on Freeview, please sort it out Freeview, there must be some reason I pay my TV licence. That and the fact my younger children have started to enjoy them, mainly my younger son. Thank goodness my daughter shares my taste and sentiments in film genres.

I can understand why men find the Star Wars franchise exciting. There are heroes and villains, shootouts or sabre outs, space crafts and of course one of the big attractions is the space theme and the whole Princess Leia in a gold bikini!I get it. It floats your boat. It is another story of good vs evil.

But it leaves me cold. There are not many films or books I could enjoy repeatedly.

For me film viewing is about escapism.

Where the men in my life think I’m hypocritical is the fact I will watch certain shows or films again if they have the swoon factor. Slightly embarrassed to admit this but I am an out-and-out sucker for romance so any plot with a dashing hero is going to get my vote.

In fact my ideal afternoon or evenings viewing would be a musical with a dashing hero . I know. I’m flakey. I’m a woman, I want to be romanced or see another girl, the story heroine, being romanced in the right way. My guilty pleasure is to put the sing along subtitles on, turn up the sound and sing the entire film with them.

Seriously what’s not to like about that? For an hour and a half or longer you can escape your own world where the laundry and dishes pile up and be immersed in an entirely different place. A film bubble. You can root for the hero and the heroine as they go through difficulty or even die! I’ve spent many happy hours with a wet kleenex clasped to my bosom and a miserable grin on my face.

It’s truly terrible if my daughter and I watch any weepy together. She’s so tender-hearted that before the bad thing has even happened she’s choking back sobs in anticipation which then sets me off.

Although musicals are my favourite I admit there have been times I’ve heard of films in the pipeline and thought “Oh please don’t Hollywood, don’t spoil or remake that classic “.

I’m usually wrong….

So some musical recommendations if you have any spare time.

My all time favourite is Yentl. This came out in the 80’s and stars Barbra Streisand and Mandy Patinkin. It’s the story of a young Jewish girl whose father dies and she’s always wanted to study but in those times girls were only allowed to be homemakers or Mothers. So she cuts her hair, dresses as a man and runs away to a Yeshiva to study to her heart’s content. For a while she gets away with her subterfuge until she falls in love with Avigdor. Given that it stars Streisand the singing is annoyingly superb and hauntingly beautiful to listen to. Sadly she never gets her man because he is in love with another girl…

Mamma Mia is another of my favourites. This was one of those I mentioned earlier as a possible recipient for the Razzys. I love Abba music but thought this would be dire. It is now a firm family favourite. The story revolves around a young girl who is due to be married but doesn’t know who her Father is so she sends an invitation to 4 likely candidates and chaos ensues of course. It’s funny and heartwarming and I was pleasantly surprised by the casts singing voices. Meryl Streep is amazing as is Amanda Seyfried. The male leads were quite good although Pierce Brosnan  had me wincing once or twice with his singing. I’m not sure whether he is not a great singer or his character wasnt meant to be but he is gorgeous obviously and can at least hold a tune. It also features a wonderfully moving song “Slipping through my fingers”  which  reminds me of my own daughter leaving home one day (sob).

My last recommendation is Les Miserables. Ordinarily I would tell you to read the book before you watch the film but I am an avid reader and I hated this book. The recent film adaptation is sublime. Starring Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne and of course Russell Crowe as Valjean’s nemesis Javert.

The story is about a convict Jean Valjean who is released from prison on parole and to paraphrase hugely, his journey back to redemption in society including his adoption of a little girl Cosette who is orphaned after her Mother is dismissed from her post in Valjean’s factory.

It also encompasses political unrest and a love triangle. I can’t sing its praises enough excuse the pun! Some critics have complained about Russell Crowes voice but seeing as how all of the musical footage and acting were filmed together and not separately in a studio I think he does a pretty good job.

I suppose what it really comes down to this whole situation is that men and women have different tastes and like different films. That doesn’t mean we can’t crossover from time to time and enjoy each others. Vive la difference as Valjean would say,

In the spirit of films and awards  I would like to say abundant shiny thankyous to Cate over at http://theclearparent.com for nominating me for her Blog of the year award for 2013. I’m so thrilled to be nominated for awards. Other than attaching the badge I am not aware of any other criteria for accepting the award. Of course I recommend her wonderful blog too and she’s had work published! So I am in awe of her.

However as Cate likes things in threes here are 3 more random facts about me!

I passed up an opportunity to audition for X Factor.

I don’t drive (yet)

I’m secretly in love in an inappropriate still love my husband way with Benedict Cumberbatch. Perhaps that wasnt really such a secret.

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