An American in Paris - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

An American in Paris Reviews

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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
March 10, 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
½ February 25, 2015
At first, the musical numbers in An American in Paris are charming, but then they get annoying and by the end of the movie, they are a distraction. The dancing and the performing don't do anything to progress the story and they become, instead, a way to show off and prolong the running time. Gene Kelly and Nina Foch do a great job, but I still don't get the allure of Leslie Caron.
February 19, 2015
Absolutely perfect until the end when it falls on its face.
½ January 5, 2015
not bad, but the last dance scene was extremely boring and obnoxious, ot was like 15 min. long. kinda similar to singin in the rain
December 13, 2014
This film is not only a great musical but as well as a love story
½ November 8, 2014
If you enjoy Ballet, you'll love it. If not, don't bother.
October 26, 2014
Just like Singing in the Rain, this is a wonderful musical mostly due to Gene Kelly's fabulous dancing!
½ October 11, 2014
The ballet sequences were beautiful. The rest of the movie was just... there.
September 28, 2014
"Un Americano en París" es un musical inmortal con una visión mágica y onírica de París y con un Gene Kelly que demuestra que bailar no va en sentido contrario con la masculinidad. Esto es cine de primer orden.
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ August 19, 2014
Wait, I thought that she found love in Monaco, not Paris. I'm almost embarrassed to say that I sometimes mix up Gene Kelly's and Grace Kelly's names, and this film may have made it harder to distinguish the two, not just because this film is about that good ol' France romance, but because it shows me how much of a girly man Kelly was. Well, he at least seems like a wimp when I compare this film to my expectations, because, seriously, with all of this ballet and what have you, where is the blasted werewolf? ...Hm, maybe I should read even more into classic cinema, because I'm starting to sound about as crazy as the idea of turning some kind of an orchestral poem into a two-hour-long movie. Well, maybe this film isn't too ambitious with its padding out George Gershwin's subject matter, because the plot is about the length of a poem, and the rest of the film is the ballet number at the climax. Maybe that sequence isn't that long, but it's 16 minutes long, for goodness' sake, which makes the transformation sequence in "An American Werewolf in London" look like nothing, thus, it appears that it takes less time to transform into a werewolf than it does to transform from a sailor to a, "thailor"... you know, with a lisp. Mind you, Kelly's character is ex-Army, but he couldn't seem to wash the real-life Naval experience off of his clothes in this film, which isn't to say that that's the only questionable aspect of this fun little flick which stands to be more little.

The film's namesake may derive from one particular American, but the film follows several leads and stories, and although each story is decent, a couple of them feel expendable, while the rest run too closely together in formula, resulting in a hint of convolution and a great deal of repetition, exacerbated by some overlong scene structuring. Of course, most of the excess is found within the musical aspects of this film, because even though each number is worth having to liven things up, from tunes which overemphasize a throwaway theme, to that blasted 16-minute-long ballet climax, plenty of numbers take away from the focus of the plot progression, while few have a place in the context of grounded storytelling to begin with. More numbers than expected fit into the focus of the film pretty organically, but more than a few just don't gel with the believability of a story which is already melodramatized by heavy-handed fluff that comes to characterize the narrative, yet would be easier to embrace if the script didn't exacerbate the cheesiness with some cornball humor and thin characterization. Plenty of the writing is clever, or at least colorful enough to compensate for its superficialities, but if laz elements to Alan Jay Lerner's script don't lead to conventions, they lead to an overly simple, safe approach to subject matter which doesn't exactly set a solid bar for powerful storytelling. The story concept is ultimately inconsequential, with no heavy conflicts or deep themes, just romantic fluff punctuated by lively musical aspects and artistry, and although that makes for a fun film, it isn't entirely Best Picture material, especially when depth is further superficialized by excess, cheese and even a degree of laziness to storytelling. When it comes to entertainment value, this film is very inspired, but when that inspiration buckles, there's no getting past the questionable structuring and lightheartedness which would have rendered the final product forgettable if it wasn't so historically important. Well, the memorability of the film is reinforced by the liveliness of the film, which is inconsequential, but terribly enjoyable on a visceral and, yes, even aesthetic level.

While not the major height in then-up-and-coming coloration technology that it could have been, Alfred Gilks' cinematographic efforts - taken over by John Alton during the ballet climax - is richly lush, particularly when it does justice to a Parisian setting that isn't explored especially thoroughly, but remains beautiful by its own right, as well as immersive and complimentary to themes on romance and artistry which France's capital is known for being the capital of in the world. These noble themes are the heart and soul of a hopelessly superficial, but colorful story, which messily juggles several branches dealing with life, love and art which are nonetheless enjoyable in concept, with an interpretation that is faithful to the liveliness, but largely focused on the musical aspects of this flick. The film is perhaps most recognized for its musical aspects, and understandably so, partly due to a versatility which encompasses elements of George Gershwin's masterful classicalism, as well as jazzy, showy and all around flashy musical numbers whose instrumentation is sweeping, and whose lyrics by Ira Gershwin are iconically snappy, tight and all around memorable. Like many musicals, this film forces in many numbers, but it's hard to wish away any of them, as they're all so well-written and orchestrated, and further brought to life by a cast full of spirited singers, and a few dynamite dancers, especially the infectiously tap-happy Gene Kelly. Of course, Kelly and his peers do more than just deliver on snappy tunes and moves, for just about every member of this arguably overblown cast - from the colorful Kelly and the charismatically subdued Oscar Levant, to the devilishly winning Georges Guétary and a beautiful, 19-year-old Leslie Caron - delivers on impeccable charm and chemistry which bring a lot of life to this celebration of life. The thespians' color is at least brought to light by the color within Vincente Minnelli's direction, which is among the least lazy aspects of this superficial film, as it makes sure that every single scene at least feels tight, with a perky air whose colorful heights are soaring in their technical proficiency, aesthetic sweep and overall entertainment value. I've said it time and again, but I must emphasize that this film is truly a lot of fun, and although it is hardly anything more than that, and therefore very underwhelming from a dramatic standpoint, the entertainment value ought to endear through and through, despite the natural shortcomings it comes with, and the consequential shortcomings which challenge it.

Once the routine has wrapped, the film takes too much time - largely with the help of somewhat forced musical numbers - to tell a cheesy, formulaic and ultimately superficial story, and doesn't stand a chance of transcending underwhelmingness, challenged respectably enough by the lush cinematography, immersive art direction, outstanding soundtrack and dance numbers, charming cast, and lively direction which secure "An American in Paris" as a classically fun, if inconsequential tribute to life, love and art in the most romantic city in the world.

2.5/5 - Fair
August 11, 2014
Typical stupid musical from the 50's
August 10, 2014
meh. Gene Kelly is cool, but the female counterpart isn't nearly in his league. Just good.
July 30, 2014
Major letdown after the sublime Singin' in the Rain. Oh, this film has some brilliant dancing. But the songs are nowhere near as toe-tapping as those in Singin' in the Rain. And Levant and Caron (talented on paper as they might be) have a fraction on the charisma of O'Connor and Reynolds. This film also lacks the humour and wit of SITR, it comes across as too try-hard cheesy. The background to the story - the arty crowd in the artiest city of all (and the studio visualisations of that city) are far better that the story itself - the romantic angle is flaccid. What the film does have though, is Gene Kelly. Even in a hum-hum product, he's still Gene Kelly. Most of the three stars above are for him. And his awesome little apartment.
½ July 27, 2014
(First and only full viewing - 8/31/2010)
½ July 10, 2014
Review In A Nutshell:

The story of An American in Paris is definitely an interesting one, it explores the difficulties of being an artist; not having enough money to guarantee your next meal, and live in a tiny apartment with almost all of the furniture are a stow-away.

This film would have been a near perfect story and a brilliant character study if the film decided to place all of their eggs into this one basket, sadly what we have here is a film that touches on these issues and establishes them early on in the film, but is then placed on the background when the film introduces the romantic side of the story. What was the point in establishing this early on in the film, and with such focus might I add, if they were just going to only use it as a minor sub-plot with very little effect on the film's resolution? Also, why did the film decide to introduce three men in such detail during the start of the film, when only two of them actually remain significant by the end of the film? This is not to say I wanted the extra character removed from the film completely, as all three are important in exhibiting the different levels of artistic success, and I guess I wouldn't have minded it so much if the film instead focused on the importance and difficulties of being an artist.

Almost all of the film's sympathies goes towards Gene Kelly's character, Jerry Mulligan, and for the most part I connected with him and was interested on what would become of him by the end of the film but it would have been nice if there was little bit more care given for the character Adam Cook and Georges Guetary.

The romantic aspect of the film wasn't all that motivating for me, as there really wasn't something deep into it that I could grab onto, at least the relationship that Jerry developed with Nina Foch's character, Milo Roberts, was handled effectively as it actually supported the artistic issues that our protagonist had.

The film's third act was actually the worst part of the film. It featured approximately a 20 minute interpretative dance sequence that felt surprisingly empty and pointless. There might actually be a point in showing this sequence to the audience, but I personally couldn't find it; and as I was watching, I couldn't help but constantly compare it to something similar to what Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger did for The Red Shoes, which was handled much more tastefully than what was delivered here. Then after it, gives us an ending that felt sudden, needing a little bit more time to flesh out in order to for it to feel effective.

The film's strongest aspect is its musical numbers, though not all of it is perfect and memorable, there was enough for me to be satisfied and a reason to come back to this film; I also think because my standards were set pretty high after recently seeing two great musicals.

The acting in this film was also quite good with an entertaining performance by Gene Kelly. He brings this playful quality that was also present in his other notable film, Singin' in the Rain, showing us his ability to present wonderful solo choreography particularly in his ability to tap dance. Leslie Caron was a disappointment, I felt annoyed watching her as she just wasn't right for the part. She was able to keep up with Kelly during the extensive dance sequence in the film's final act but when we see her acting as her normal self, it lacked that magic that was found in all of the film's principal actors.

An American in Paris presented its audience an opportunity to explore the interesting, and difficult life of an artist, along with a couple of fine tunes, but instead becomes drowned in the film's romantic story which in itself doesn't add to anything entertaining.
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