logo2.jpg
   GENTLEMEN MARRY BRUNETTES (2008) 

CAST
Jane Russell
Jeanne Crain
Alan Young
Scott Brady
Rudy Vallee
Guy Middleton
Eric Pohlmann
Ferdy Mayne
Leonard Sachs

DIRECTED BY
Richard Sale

PURCHASE





Time: 97 mins.
Rating: Not Rated
Genre: Musical/Comedy/Romance


A tired musical that's clearly trying to capitalize on the earlier success of GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES. Unfortunately, except for a similar title it shares none of its' predecessor's wit, charm, energy or sense of fun. This time around Russell plays the "dumb blonde" role so perfectly executed by Marilyn Monroe in BLONDES. Her character, Bonnie, is a love-starved showgirl who's constantly in trouble with men. They always wind up proposing marriage to her and she has the hardest time refusing their offers. Fed up with the turmoil created by her sister, Connie (Crain) decides to escape to Paris and only agrees to take Bonnie if she swears to stay away from men. Once they arrive, they are greeted by their Paris agent David Action (Brady), his assistant Charlie (Young) and the famous Rudy Vallee, who has quite a story to tell. Apparently, their mother and aunt were the original Jones Sisters, a musical act that took 1920s Paris by storm. Mimi and Mitzi were the most glamorous and amorous gals around and as their successors Bonnie and Connie have a lot to live up to.

However, they find Paris to be much more risqué then they're prepared to be and after their original splash they have a hard time finding a permanent gig. They do manage to find love with Charlie and David, as well as catch the eye of a very wealthy patron who showers them with gifts and secures them employment. They encounter the requisite bumps (Connie warns David away from Bonnie without realizing "this time" it's love) and "surprises" (Charlie is not the pauper he appears) on the road to true love, finally winding up in the arms of the men who adore them. Ah, L'amour. If only it were half as entertaining as it's trying to be. While the ladies are luscious to look at and perform several highly enjoyable musical numbers, the actual plot merely lumbers along to its' inevitable conclusion. Not even the brilliant art direction, costume design, choreography and location are enough to chase the boredom away. To make matters worse, Russell is woefully miscast as the dim-witted sister, hiding her sharp wit and innate intelligence under blank stares and breathy complaints.


"Don't be silly. I wasn't going to marry all of them. At least not all at once."

While the sisters are performing the film has life and energy. When they're worrying about their lives and loves it's dull and humorless. The men don't help the situation, neither having the star power necessary to raise the level of the piece. The flashbacks that have Russell and Crain playing the earlier, blonde, more exuberant Jones's are initially amusing as they give the ladies the opportunity to whoop it up as fun-loving flappers. However, after the first few sequences these efforts become equally as tiresome. Why should I care about what happened 30 years earlier, when I don't care what happens now? Not enough time is spent fleshing out these characters to make them even remotely worth spending time with. Nothing changes about their characters from the first frame to the last. The only interesting part of this picture is the musical numbers. Clearly much attention was given to creating unique and visually vibrant set pieces for the familiar standards employed throughout the film. Certainly the sights of Paris make for a lovely and romantic backdrop to any love song and the use of Cinemascope and Technicolor guarantees we get to see every lovely inch. I truly wanted to like this film and while the music was playing I did. Otherwise the lives of Connie and Bonnie have nothing new or exciting to offer. A film that only diehard musical fans will love.



home | reviews | actors | actresses | film heaven | all reviews