I do love this movie– rally I do.
I remember seeing it on HBO sometime after it came out and I was instantly smitten. I mean, Le Jazz Hot?? Come on! That’s just a jewel of Erte inspired, deco Paris nightclub perfection.
And you tell me what current queen can resist mimicking Julie doing the grand glissando at the end of this number???
And the music by Mancini– just so great. Academy award great.
Also (let’s be honest) Ms Andrews is just pure ginger awesomeness. Period. But seeing her in this role when my previous experience had only witnessed her singing Do-Re-Mi or climbing chimney smoke……
The rest of the cast is also just not expected. Professor Harold Hill? Brett Maverick?? Alex Karras?????
And, fucking Leslie Ann Warren. God, I adore her as Norma. She is so over-the-top American gangster moll/showgirl that how can you NOT love her?
But best of all, the film is gay. I mean really gay. Ridiculously so for 1982 when gay stuff really wasn’t talked about, much less presented non-chalanly in a mainstream movie. With Mary-fuckin-Poppins.
Or the Music Man in bed with a famous football player!!
It was terrifying and exhilarating and fun and scary and validating because the film wasn’t really homophobic.
I mean, sure. It was 1982 so there is significant camp involved, along with stereotypical queens and gay chorus boys. Plus James Garner does say, “If you think I’m worried that everyone will think I’m a fag– you’re right.”
The well-to-do Parisians (and foreigners) go to gay nightclubs to see female impersonators. Julie doesn’t have an issue sharing a bed or being friends with an old queen. And she’s hiding herself and actually pretending to be gay.
Plus, King Marchand’s bodyguard is gay. And the French boxing champ that beats up King is gay.
To a young, questioning gay boy it really was overload.
And wonderfully reaffirmingly so.
All those thoughts and feelings flood back to this day as I watch the film. And as I now unabashedly sing along with it.
(And while I act out the “hooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooot! Le. Jazz. Hot. *snap*”)