Many critics have been very harsh, and I don’t understand why. Sampling the killer reviews, I find that many people object to the fact that director (of stage and screen versions) Susan Stroman has basically filmed the play. Oh, sure, the absolutely brilliant number with the little old ladies dancing in their walkers has been set outdoors on Park Avenue, but the rest is firmly set on the stage. In other words, these idiots hated it for the very reason I loved it. This is a play, you jerks! It always was, there is not a realistic funnybone in its hilarious body; why do you want to “open it up?” Also, it wasn’t very “edgy.” Read: The camera didn’t jerk around like a spastic, there were no zooms, no quick cuts, no meaningless razzle-dazzle at all if it didn’t add to the movie. Most of the time you could see the dancers’ entire bodies, as Fred Astaire decreed for his movies. No celluloid salad of one-second shots designed to disguise the fact that somebody can’t dance without a big cheat from the film editor.
The only reason I can understand for not liking this movie: You hate musicals. I don’t understand why you hate them (I love them beyond all genres), but I understand that you do. So … don’t go. Otherwise, this is the best time you’ll have in the movies in 2006.