An American in Paris - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

An American in Paris Reviews

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April 15, 2016
This film is beloved by many, but it has yet to captivate me in spite of many viewings. The whole setup seems calculated, featuring a sort of non-plot cobbled together by Alan Jay Lerner. An American in Paris who is a struggling young artist has a wealthy patroness who wants more. His piano playing buddy Oscar Levant, whose charms have always escaped me, is on hand to crack wise. And then there is la petite gamine Leslie Caron, who may not be quite as charming as she thinks, along with a host of other colorful French characters. The Gershwin music is very American, so there's that. But there are so. . . many. . .dances. . . . The famous ballet in the style of many artists has always struck me as a pretentious and elongated interruption. For those who love la dance, this is your film, but it remains a little too impressionistic for me.
March 20, 2016
Much better than I expected. Gene Kelly is one of the few actors in history that can pull off dancing in a film and still come across as cool. The film has some mildly funny moments and is quite untypical of musicals at the time; it has some catchy songs and some nice orginal set designs.
½ May 15, 2015
With such disappointments as "The Broadway Melody" and "The Great Ziegfeld," it was about time the Academy awarded a worthy musical.
½ March 7, 2013
An American in Paris is more than anything else a showcase for the splendor and spectacle of an old Hollywood studio. It is bursting with music, color and energy. What it lacks in substance and story, it makes up for in style and scale. The Paris settings are quaint and beautiful, the costumes are colorful and minimalist, the Gershwin music is powerful. The single most amazing part of the film are the song and dance scenes. The ballet scene where Lisa dances in different dresses and colored sets, the amazing scene with Gene Kelly singing to all the French children in English, the extravagant mass dance sequence at the end that encompasses like 10 different sets and 200 dancers. It's incredible. And to add to the splendor of the musical, the two leads have charisma and easy chemistry. All of this combines to create a dazzling, effortlessly fun and old-fashioned musical.

The only criticism I have is that the film is really light. The narrative is simple and harmless, just a struggling artist caught between two women and finally ending up with the one he loves. The fact that he and his acquaintance love the same woman is an interesting dynamic, though. The characters are very likable, but don't have much depth. The story doesn't have any weight or significance, it's just really fun to experience. If you're looking for a film with a human story and depth, this isn't it. An American in Paris is a film that just charms and entertains.
February 18, 2016
Worth it just to see those saturated 1950's color tones! The star power of Kelly, Caron and the classic Gershwin tunes make this a must for any film fan.
January 13, 2016
Dance scene at the end is amazing
August 1, 2015
Couldn't get through the first 20 minutes- every introduced themselves the exact same way (which got old after the second introduction). I had to turn it off after the one guy was describing his girl friend in the vaguest way possible, questioning to myself "Is there a point to this?" I hope if I ever get to see the stage adaptation that's recently been on Broadway, I hope it's much better
May 24, 2015
Beautiful film, loved it!
September 25, 2012
The spectacle outdoes the story by leaps and bounds.
½ December 26, 2014
I just couldn't get into this musical. The storyline and much of the acting is ordinary, and there is little charisma. The one redeeming feature is Gene Kelly. His acting, dancing, singing and charm steal the show. AAW. 1001
½ October 3, 2014
Brilliant Show.
Great Dancing Singing Acting, especially by the always effervescent Gene Kelly.
A bit plain on story, but it's all about the dance numbers and the classic songs.

If you want a great story with all the high flying fun of Kelly, see Singin In The Rain, but this is a close second..

4.5 out of 5 grinning strut walks
May 19, 2015
A joyful musical with a not surprisingly charming performance from Gene Kelly. Great costumes and music throughout ending with a magnificent finale with outstanding cinematography, art direction, and choreography
½ May 17, 2015
Takes a bit too long to get going and the musical numbers often simply stop the action, but the second half is very enjoyable and the ending musical sequence is of course fantastic.
May 16, 2015
The setting, the art, the colors, and the choreography are gorgeous, culminating in an epic dance number at the end of the movie that will forever be a classic.

The problem is that all of this beauty exists in a movie that has disturbing things to say about women. This starts with the character Milo Roberts, played by Nina Foch. She is the villain of the movie, according to the men, but by modern sensibilities never comes across as villainous at all. The male characters take her to task for showing at patron's and romantic interest in the artist Jerry Mulligan, played by Gene Kelly. A particularly harsh verbal attack at a wild party that leads into the final dance number suggests she is a vile predator, despite her being age-appropriate for the late-30s Gene Kelly.

Contrast that appropriateness with Mulligan's pursuit of the 19-year old Lise Bouvier, played by Leslie Caron. He stalks her despite her discomfort and then her verbal requests for him to stop being inappropriate. Perhaps his character is supposed to be much younger than Gene Kelly was at the time, but the nearly 20-year difference between the two is obvious. The storyline parallels Kelly's real life discovery an patronage of Caron, and today it is shocking that this is considered just fine when it is an older man helping a young woman, but a scandal when it is an older woman helping a similarly-aged man.

The plot concerns a four-way triangle and ends with a disturbing scene that suggests Lise is an object to be handed between men at their digression. She is not the one who gets to make the choice.

The music and the dancing are, of course, absolutely wonderful and the only reason I give this three stars. Another highlight is Oscar Levant's orchestral fantasy, complete with him at every instrument. It is unclear, though, what purpose his character actually serves. He becomes aware of the various romantic entanglements, but doesn't do or say anything about it except condemn Roberts. By the end of the movie he has had no character arc and there are not hints about what will happen with him and his music. Like Roberts, his character is dropped before the final number, without resolution.
½ April 12, 2015
Both leads are wonderful and that final number is outstanding (if a little long). A beautiful score adds to it's charm.
April 6, 2015
Starring Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron and Oscar Levant. Beautiful and lively musical features Kelly as an American painter living in post-WWII Paris, whose carefree life is disrupted when he falls in love with Leslie Caron (in her breakout performance). The highlight is the long ballet sequence set to the title Gershwin piece. Levant is along for good measure as Kelly's hypochondriac piano-playing buddy. Directed by Vincente Minnelli.
½ April 5, 2015
A starving artist is sponsored by a rich divorcee smitten with more than his brushstrokes. Too bad his heart skips to the beat of a friend's fiance. Anywhere else, there'd be trouble, but this is Paris. There is love aplenty in this whimsically charming musical starring Gene Kelly's tap dancing & Leslie Caron's pirouette.
½ March 24, 2015
Just pure delight to watch Gene Kelly shine in acting, singing and dancing. An artistic genius, and my new hero! :D
February 8, 2015
The musical is a genre that has seen its better days, honestly, but back in the glory days of Hollywood they could churn them out like nobody's business. AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, while not the best of them (or my favorite), certainly ranks up there as one of the all-time greats. The story is a bit on the ordinary/cliche side, but everything else that holds the film together is spectacular and quite a sight to see. There is amazing sets and production design, beautiful music, and of course some of the best choreographed dancing I've ever seen. Gene Kelly is the star of this movie and he makes it all seem so effortless. Of course, the supporting cast is no slouch either and more than pull their weight when it comes to the song and dance numbers. Another plus is the soundtrack and score, composed largely of tunes by George Gershwin (who also happens to be one of my favorite composers). Of course there is the title song which is played numerous times over the course of the film, but also other familiar songs like "'S Wonderful" and "I Got Rhythm," to name a couple. In a couple of instances, the appearance of certain tunes seem a little bit shoehorned, but it doesn't take very long for you to be swept up in the magic onscreen and forget about everything else. One of my favorite moments in the film actually didn't involve singing or dancing. It was a fantasy sequence in which Jerry's (Gene Kelly) friend and fellow artist, Adam (Oscar Levant) imagines himself giving a concert of Gershwin's Concerto in F...except that he's also the conductor, the orchestra, and the audience who gives himself applause at the end. As a pianist myself, this sequence was very entertaining and humorous. The only problem is that it doesn't really fit into the larger framework of the film, and messes up the pacing a bit. Directly after this sequence, the pacing goes by a little too quick to catch up with itself. The only other issue I have with the film is the ending: not the magnificent song and dance sequence set to "An American in Paris," but the very end. Without spoiling it, I kind of wish the ending had been kept a little more ambiguous instead of going for the usual, crowd-pleasing happy one. That being said, I absolutely enjoyed watching this. It was a like a Technicolor dream full of vivacious energy, vibrant color and soul-stirring music. In my opinion, it's not to be missed.
½ March 7, 2015
really a soft, cozy, and pleasing film
the plot doesn't have much focus and veers off at times but the musical numbers are expertly choreographed as well with the dancing
Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron are the ultimate stars of this musical romp
and I will say the finale without any dialogue wraps up the movie on a successful note
for anyone who loves classic MGM flicks this one's a sure-winner
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