White Christmas Reviews
However, White Christmas, a mild confection of a film, will also do the trick. Coming from a wonderfully different era of film, we get multi-talented performers dancing, singing, acting, and delivering great dialogue, all with a smile on their face. It's a fairly shallow but glamorously fun standard that chugs with charm.
Much like director Curtiz's Casablanca, WC exists right on the edges of WWII, with a couple of army vets using their stage presences to woo girls and raise money for their ex-commanding-officer's new hotel. All the performers are clearly enjoying themselves, with Crosby and Kaye respectably matching their annoyed cynicism and wide-eyed mischievousness to enhance each joke and scene. The songs provide much of the charm; while far from totally stellar, the dancing and humor within the numbers are great.
What Curtiz really provides is some wonderful gravitas in the war setting, especially in the opening and closing scenes. The general character is a flawless combination of hard-edged soldier and kind-hearted old man. His face in the finale is wonderfully teary-eyed, and it's all done without depressing the mostly joyous proceedings.
What does drag the film down are the romantic-comedy annoyances (bad communication, random acts of infatuation, silly logic). At a solid 2-hrs, the film needed some cuts and much of these forced love-tropes should've hit the floor. Still, if you can set aside your cynicism for a night of frivolous American fluff, WC has plenty of charm to keep you humming along.