When I heard they were making a movie about Cole Porter I thought, How bad can it be? The answer is, it can’t be bad, not with all that delovely music, but it can sure fall short of what it might have been. There is a big problem with Cole Porter’s life, which is that the first and second acts are fabulous, but the third act is awful. He had everything: huge wealth, wit, talent, acclaim, a loving and supremely understanding wife, and all the boys he could ever wish for. About the only problem he had was that homosexuality was … er, frowned on in those days, but he didn’t seem to worry too much even about that. Then he fell off a horse and crushed his legs, and his remaining days were agony. Even then he had it all, until one of his legs was finally amputated, and he never wrote another note.
The film itself is Porter reviewing his life in an empty theater, which was done much better in All That Jazz. And, for my taste, entirely too many of the numbers are sung by Kevin Kline, and not well. Apparently this was done because Porter himself was no great singer. Kline could have done better, I’ve seen him do much better in The Pirates of Penzance.
However, bottom line, there are still all those wonderful old tunes, of which there are none better. I’ll watch it again, and fast forward through the talky parts.