For Me and My Gal Reviews

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May 27, 2015
MGM's salute to vaudeville directed by Busby Berkeley with a nice flavor of the period (WWI) and a plethora of vintage songs; the title tune and "When You Wore a Tulip" became hit singles all over again as sung by Garland and Kelly (in his film debut).
November 23, 2012
This movie has it all - a great story, outstanding music and performances. Judy Garland quickly falls for Gene Kelly (in his debut performance), a war ensues, and the rest is history.
½ April 26, 2012
If you want to see why MGM dominated musical films of the 40s and 50s this is a supreme example. Set in the days of vaudeville this wonderful film is in black and white but the stars add colour to the sets and the art direction is exquisitely atmospheric. There is enough drama and love interest to keep it interesting. This must have been a boost in the arm to wartime folks with its array of vaudeville (music
hall) numbers. Inspired direction from Busby Berkeley. But it's Garland whose personality bubbles to the surface showing that she can dance besides sing and act besides croon. Recommended.
½ March 21, 2012
Forerunner to the Great Musical Spectacles

It seems odd that this movie is in B&W. Oh, I know. Colour was only a few years old at this point, and it wasn't being wasted on musicals. And I like B&W quite a lot. Normally, I have nothing bad to say about it. But MGM Musical is a specific genre in my mind, and it is one notorious for its Glorious Technicolor. I expect a certain kind of colour palette from an MGM Musical, and it's odd not to have one. Also, I think the only B&W movie I've ever seen with Gene Kelly was [i]Inherit the Wind[/i], which is a very different kind of movie. Fred Astaire was one thing; his career started only about as far after the origin of sound as this one was after the real beginning of colour. Fred Astaire was different. But Gene Kelly always felt to me to be someone from a later era, and colour was very much part of it. Judy could go either way, but Gene? Even if he wasn't colourful himself, he lived in colourful worlds.

Here, he is headlining vaudevillian Harry Palmer, a baggy-pants comic. One day, he rolls into another small Midwestern town at the same time as the troupe led by Jimmy Metcalf (George Murphy). The other star of Jimmy's troupe is Jo Hayden (Judy Garland), and Harry recognizes her for the talent she is. And Jimmy recognizes them as having the chemistry they do and gives her a way out. She and Harry go on the road together, and she falls in love with him. But he is about to leave her and join the act of Eve Minard (Mártha Eggerth) before he realizes he loves her. They have dreams of someday playing the Palace, and she is putting her brother, Danny (Richard Quine), through med school. And then, World War I comes. Danny volunteers and goes off to fight. Harry is drafted just as they finally get that booking at the Palace. He damages his hand so that he can get out of the draft just long enough for their booking, but he does so on the day Jo gets an unfortunate telegram . . . .

Oh, come on. You know she's going to get that telegram from the minute Danny shows up in uniform. Probably sooner, if you realize that the story will involve World War I in some significant way. Just as you know that, one way or another, those vaudevillians are going to play the Palace. That one is true even if you have no idea what playing the Palace even means, because they certainly talk about it enough. As with various other of the movies we've watched in the past, the plot of this is only sort of the point. You know from the first moment that Gene encounters Judy on that train platform that they're going to end up together. It's just a matter of how. You know that Jimmy is going to pine over Jo to no avail. You know that Eve is going to try to come between Harry and Jo. And you know that there's going to be a happy ending, no matter what difficulties there are in reaching that place. Because this does have some things in common with the colour extravaganzas to come.

More important by far to this kind of movie are the songs. And with very few exceptions, what they have gone with are period numbers; hardly any have a copyright date more recent than 1919, and several of them only have an approximation. Yes, one or two of them are anachronisms, but only one appears to have been written specifically for the movie. This helps in preserving the period feel to the movie, even when it's somewhat violated by Judy's costumes. Gene Kelly does not get the chance to show off his dancing to the extent that he would in later films, but he's no slouch, either, and the pair work together with all the grace you'd expect. Judy matches well with his joy, the thing I have always loved about watching Gene perform. Possibly, they have tamed his dancing a bit so she can keep up with him, but then, he can't keep up with her vocally. She helped to give him this chance, and it is in the music that they show what their strengths were.

Actually, I was looking for a different movie of the same title which does not appear to be available from Netflix. It's on one of the lists of Movies I Should See Before I Die. While I didn't think this one was great, I did think it was in pretty special company. Certainly better than a lot of movies I've encountered on those lists, and I'd argue even more significant than some of them. After all, Gene Kelly is one of the best-known stars of all those glorious musicals. [i]An American in Paris[/i] is on most of them. Oh, yes, part of the issue here is that this movie doesn't feel as draggy. Even though I know now that [i]American in Paris[/i] isn't three hours long, my brain won't accept that. There's more plot to this one, because Judy Garland is technically the star, so the plot is divided between them. This one isn't as beautiful--again, it loses something I think vital to this kind of movie by being in B&W, which is [i]not[/i] a cry for colorization. But there are a lot of movies we wouldn't have if we hadn't had this one first.
February 25, 2012
For Me and My Gal is essentially a propaganda film, complete with a bonifide advertisement to support the troops at the end. It's less of a musical and more of a film with musical numbers integrated into it. There's a few good tunes, and the title number is enjoyable, but overall it's a tad too slow and sentimental, with a weak plot structure, which is essentially scrapped for the last half hour of the film. These are common to musicals in general, but here there's none of the charm or fun that is usually present. There's an attempt to deal with more difficult subject matter, but it largely comes off as superficial in service to the I want to be a start plot line. Gene Kelly and Judy Garland are charming together and with her voice and his dancing are a great musical duo. Unfortunately their talents are both underused, especially Kelly's. It is nice to see Kelly get to stretch his dramatic acting skills, but Me and My Gal would benefit from a firm decision about what genre it wants to be. Either lighthearted musical or realist drama because it doesn't quite manage either one.
jjnxn
Super Reviewer
½ April 4, 2007
A little hoky but Judy and Gene make a good team.
½ August 17, 2009
Gene Kelly's debut and he certainly danced into the movie scene amazingly. He and Garland really were a great pair and they sing and dance together just so well. "Why didn't you tell me I was in love with you?!" Is the best line of the movie.

Unfortunately the third act feels dated but was probably necessary for the time given that there was a war on and war bonds to sell. Although it feels almost disconnected with the first two acts.
August 16, 2009
If this movie was simply Gene Kelly and Judy Garland exchanging quips and singing and dancing in a coffee shop, then it would still be entertaining. But that's really not all it is. This movie is more like a drama/romance than a musical, in the way that there are some songs, but there is more story than numbers. Yes, the idea is an old one, but there are a few twists that distinguish it from any other wartime romance. The little plot weaknesses are forgotten as the actors hold it all together. I recommend For Me and My Gal, unless you're dead-set on a tear-free day.
½ February 23, 2009
It's alright, but I felt sorry for the other guy!
October 28, 2008
I cannot believe I have not seen this yet! Well...there are so many great films out there and o so little time to watch them all!
½ September 27, 2008
Gene Kelly a coward and a draft dodger?
May 5, 2008
hmmm... could be interesting, but then again, could also be cliche
April 16, 2008
Ahhh one of those great muscials with Gene Kelly in it. It's wonderful when eh sings the title song to Judy Garland.
March 21, 2008
ohmygosh.
i love this movie :]
½ August 24, 2007
cute movie. My favorite line is, "Why didn't you tell me I was in love with you?!"
½ June 8, 2007
Kinda sad, but it has a Hollywood ending.
July 23, 2007
[size=3][font=Times][color=white][b][i][color=darkorange]Undeclared: The Complete Series[/color][/i][/b] 7/10[/color][/font][/size]

[font=Times][size=3][color=white]I really liked this show when it was on the air, but as I watched the whole series back to back, parts of the storyline don?t make sense. In one episode, Lizzie and Eric are broken up then in the next one they?re back together with no explanation. And in another episode, Steven is still trying to get Lizzie but fails, but in the next one they wake up next to each other in the same bed. But it was a funny show. Too bad these guys? shows don?t make it past one season. They?re the guys who did [i]Freak and Geeks[/i] too. [/color][/size][/font]

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[size=3][font=Times][color=white][b][i][color=darkorange]The Harvey Girls[/color][/i][/b] 8/10[/color][/font][/size]

[font=Times][size=3][color=white]I didn?t expect to like this so much. It was funny, romantic and had some well written songs and performances in it. My favorite part is when Judy Garland holds up a saloon at gunpoint to get back the stolen steaks. [/color][/size][/font]

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[size=3][font=Times][color=white][b][i][color=darkorange]For Me and My Gal[/color][/i][/b] 6/10[/color][/font][/size]

[font=Times][size=3][color=white]I was hoping for one of Berkeley?s extravagant bird?s eye view in this, but nothing. There was a little too much war propaganda for me, but I did enjoy the story and seeing two of my favorites together on screen. [/color][/size][/font]

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[size=3][font=Times][color=white][b][i][color=darkorange]An Evening With Kevin Smith[/color] [/i][/b] 7/10[/color][/font][/size]

[font=Times][size=3][color=white]Funny, but too long for my attention span. [/color][/size][/font]

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[size=3][font=Times][color=white][b][i][color=darkorange]Ziegfeld Girl[/color][/i][/b] 6/10[/color][/font][/size]

[font=Times][size=3][color=white]It was alright. Sometimes it seemed a bit too slow. Personally, I think having three protagonists was a problem for the structure of the story, but it worked okay. [/color][/size][/font]

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