Victor Victoria Reviews
Victoria (Andrews) is living in Paris as a singer; except for the fact that she's a failing singer that is starving and barely able to pay her rent. She has an excellent voice, but she doesn't have the cool façade of a torch singer.
Aging, homosexual performer, Toddy (Robert Preston) walks into the bar he sings at just as Victoria is auditioning, and in his eyes, a star is born. She doesn't get the job, but he decides to take her under his wing, let her live with him, and get back on her feet. It doesn't take long though, for Toddy to come up with a hell of an idea-- what if Victoria masquerade as a female impersonator at the nightclub he works at, considering it attracts the gay crowd? Victoria hates the gimmick, yet before long, it works, and she's known on the streets as Victor.
She becomes a huge hit, and from her first night, everyone is intrigued by her persona. Of all of the audience though, it's King Marchan (James Garner) that falls for Victor, although he doesn't realize at first that Victoria is a man (even though she's not). Marchan is ever homophobic, and it doesn't help that his near stupid girlfriend (Lesley Ann Warren) clings onto him with all of her might!
Edwards captures the warm, even bright atmosphere of some of his earlier films, such as the original "Pink Panther". Though "Victor Victoria" would be scandalous in the '60s, it's reminiscent of the glowing, classic style of a vintage classic. The streets of Paris are filled with snow, but seem romantic and lovely. The dingy apartment Victoria at first lives in is a dump, but we can feel a sense of hope within. It's this tone that Edwards sets that gives the film half of its charm.
There are many musical numbers, but they aren't there to give the impression that "Victor Victoria" is a musical-- it's rather a device to get the plot moving, and to make us laugh. They play almost as satirical bits considering they usually end with some form of comedy. Andrews knows they're meant to be silly, but her voice is simply fantastic; Brooks gets in a song of two and ends up making us laugh within seconds.
Andrews is a delight as usually, managing to use her rather over-the-top, theatrical voice to the best of means-- when she's not, she giving a killer comedic performance. Brooks gives a grand performance-- he does play a homosexual, but not stereotypically, and instead uses a somewhat dry tone when he delivers zingers, something unexpected and quite remarkable; Warren is a later-day Lina Lamont as she easily makes us believe that she's a dumb floozy-- and she's downright hilarious.
"Victor Victoria" is difficult to describe, because there are so many wonderful things happening at once. It's so delightful that, by the end, you're almost sad its over. Edwards didn't have that great of a late career, but this film is anything but a failure.
The movie is filled with many funny scenes, as well as some pretty good musical numbers. There could have been more of each however.
The performances from the main cast, and some members of the supporting cast are great. Andrews, Preston, Garner and Lesley Anne Warren stand out with their performances. Garner and Andrews especially, since they become the central characters.
There are some pretty funny scenes in this movie. There are also some excellent musical performances by Andrews, and some good ones by Preston. There are however some plot holes that are somewhat noticeable. You don't really notice them unless you've seen the movie multiple times.
There aren't really any scenes that stand out, except for when Andrews is on stage. Although, there are a couple of crowd scenes that are quite funny. There are also some fun scenes that feature Andrews and Preston that are helped out by their chemistry together.
This is a movie where the performances carry the story, and is its strongest point. In my opinion, this is a pretty good rental.
The comedy mostly consists of one-liners, and in some ways diminishes the point the drama could have made. The drama had heaps of potential: the search for sexual identity, gay rights, women's rights, but it all seems skirted over. However, in the 80s these were quite topical, and issues worth raising.
Still, reasonably entertaining and Julie Andrews gives a superb performance in the lead role.
Second best is Lesley Ann Warren, who was amazing as James Garner's slutty girlfriend from Chicago. She, for some reason, did not win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, despite deserving it without question.
My favourite musical number is, of course, Le Jazz Hot, and Julie Andrews did it perfectly.