Singin' in the Rain

Singin' in the Rain ★★★★★

My grandmother had the biggest crush on Gene Kelly when she was very young. Most women did. The guy was handsome, talented, and flooded the room with his charisma. But my grandmother's relationship with Gene Kelly was special. Kelly was a dead ringer for her uncle, who shared a closer relationship with each other than my grandmother did with her own father. My great uncle didn't just look like Gene Kelly: He danced like Gene Kelly. He sung like Gene Kelly. He practically was Gene Kelly. My grandmother and her uncle went everywhere together, especially the movies.

But my grandmother only got to know my great uncle for a relatively short amount of time. He died in 1943 when she was 13, before she even knew who Gene Kelly was. Kelly had been working in Hollywood, but he wasn't very well known.

So in 1945, my grandmother went to see a little film called Anchors Aweigh, which starred Frank Sinatra and none other than Gene Kelly himself. You might know it as the film in which Kelly dances with Jerry, the mouse. My grandmother often talks about how it was such an emotional experience for her, and how she felt as if for 2 hours, her uncle was alive again. From then on, she made sure to see every film Gene Kelly was in.

I start that review off with that story, because I find it pointless to go over why Singin' in the Rain is a wonderful and joyous film. People who have seen it know of its charms and contagious joy, and those who haven't seen it really need to. It's impossible to frown while watching it. It's a film lacking in any unwarranted cynicism and features magnificent moments of pure imagination. It's a wild ride that's never boring and is crafted with such love by those involved.

Watching Singin' in the Rain, for me, feels like I'm being introduced to that family member I never met. Yet, it also allows me to connect to my grandmother. I often credit her for jumpstarting my love of cinema, and it was always on those Friday afternoons when I sat in her house after she picked me up from school that I'd bond with her as she would always put on a classic film that she loved, and sometimes we still do this.

We often tend to forget how magical movies can be as we're bombarded with floods of mediocrity and soulless films. But every now and then we can watch a film like Singin' in the Rain and be taken away. It's a film that takes me into the past, meeting someone I hardly knew. It's a film that takes my grandmother into the past to meet her best friend again. It's a film that takes everyone away into that world where there is no screen, only a shared experience where Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse dance in our dreams.

Mary Conti liked this review