Sunday, December 10, 2017

Without so much as a kiss my foot or have an apple

White Christmas is the dumbest, plot-hole-iest, staggeringly-implausible-storyline-iest movie ever made -- and I adore every second of it. I used to host a party every year in Chicago and invite only the friends I knew were able to shut up for 120 minutes so we could all enjoy its ridiculous awesomeness together in peace. And then I usually watched it again on my own. And maybe one more time. But now my DVD is buried in a box in my storage locker ... and I’m thrilled beyond belief that I’m -- as we speak -- finally about to see it on the big screen.

All that said, it still drives me NUTS that Rosemary Clooney runs (well, clomps in four-inch stilettos) away from Bing Crosby in a self-righteous fit over a laughably stupid misunderstanding that she could easily clear up with a simple question and then boards a train with a little satchel in which she's packed all her clothes, wigs, makeup, gowns, those white sequined oven mitts she wears in "Love, You Didn't Do Right By Me" plus four of the Vermont dancer boys. And then she happily -- yes: happily, despite the loathing she had for Bing's appearance on TV that was so toxic it prompted her to sneak away from Vermont in secret -- watches Bing's appearance on TV, suddenly has a mis-misunderstanding revelation, sneaks back to Vermont in the dead of night with her sensible orthopedic Army-issue oxfords in tow and somehow absorbs all the "Gee, I Wish I Was Back in the Army" choreography out of thin air from some secret backstage rehearsal room in that drafty barn that apparently a cast of 1,000 people had mysteriously never even known about.

But those gowns!

And don't get me started on that stupid "Sisters" number -- it sure gets a LOT of mileage for having only one verse and an enormous dance break where Rosemary and Vera basically just stand on stage and smile dewily at Bing and Doofusface while presumably the rest of the audiences watches and thinks they're being somehow entertained by all that standing around.

But those gowns!

And Bing Crosby sings “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep” after chugging a quart of buttermilk and Rosemary Clooney’s and Vera-Ellen’s “ugly” brother is actually totally cute when they show Bing and Doofusface his picture and WHAT THE HELL IS THAT “MR. BONES” SONG?

But those gowns!

And then Vera-Ellen — who does the entire movie in funnel-collared outfits tailored to hide whatever the hell is wrong with her neck — descends from the sky in her tearaway Ostrich Barbie outfit and executes some wicked nerve taps WITHOUT EVEN WEARING TAPS.

But those gowns!

And the general is clearly on laudanum binge in the attic of his hotel-theater as every U.S. war soldier past, present and future swarms all over the entire property and fills every hotel room not already taken by the swarm of singers, dancers, directors, and costume and tech crew members, and when they all finally surprise him they seat him at the table of honor behind a three-foot-tall cake that completely blocks his view of the show that they put together ESPECIALLY FOR HIM TO SEE.

But those gowns!


Jen said...

Vera Ellen was anorexic, and her neck was rather wrinkly and "old" looking (according to the commentary). You can kind of notice it a bit here and there, if you're looking for it. One of my favorite parts is the monochromatic shoes/socks/pants to make the guys' legs look longer. The costumes were done by Edith Head. That light pink frothy dress from the "Dancing" number? *Sigh*

Steve M said...

Thank you Jake for posting this! I literally was laughing out loud reading it! White Christmas is one of my all time favorite movies. I fell in love with it as child undoubtedly because of the great songs and the incredible dance numbers. 50 years later, I watch it every year on Xmas eve with my husband. As is my way, I now feel the need to pick apart all of the plot loopholes. Little did I know that there was someone else in the world who did the same thing. That being said I still love it and periodically use lines from the movie in everyday conversation - "Mutual I'm sure", "Vermonty" and of course "Kiss my foot or have an apple".