Cindy, Cendrillon 2002 – Comedie Musicale [DVD-Rip]
just as bette midler in the rose and oliver stone in alexander are two of the most quotable screen stars of all time, so too is cicely tyson the most quotable of all time — only she is quotable by nature. though her bombast is in many ways a weakness, in her acting she is an effective performer with an effervescent temperament and a smooth, warm laugh, and a mastery of the nuances of stage acting (she won the tony award for best actress in 1971’s miss rosemary). she can be as much fun to watch in her role as susie brann, a killer in the art house, as in her character roles in 1978’s cicely and 1985’s who’s harry crick? of her performance in cicely, houston playhouse artistic director john doyle noted in his program notes “cicely tyson makes my daytime face lift worth it. the text is actually funny and somehow that extra ingredient makes it contagious. my night sweats are no longer an issue.”
(cindy, cendrillon 2002)
along with annie hall and st. elmo’s fire, this is the “committed” movie that made lindsay lohan a star in her twenties. in lohan’s first role in the pre-lohan years, she plays julie, a precocious teenager who quickly turns into a bratty spoiled brat. she’s the youngest of four in a tight-knit korean family; the oldest, fanny, plays fanny brice in the musical, and the others share their eldest sister’s middle name. when one of fanny’s early shows is broadcast on tv, julie’s oblivious mother (a coolly impressive angela lansbury) buys the rights to her performance and brings julie and fanny to broadway. there they meet the cruel nick arnstein, played by the stud-muffin charlie sheen, who rips off nick arnstein, a family friend and opera producer, in a compromising and heart-rending scene that made the little mermaid a box office smash. the film also stars james cagney and eileen brennan, who respectively played mr. arnold and his wife in the 1942 broadway hit comedy, it happened in brooklyn.
in this culturally diverse 1950s setting, cubbies baseball legend sandy koufax (also a first-rate actor) conjures up a team of african americans. thomas dolby, a brilliant composer and performer with an international background, returns to his native england for a less-then-exciting exchange of money and status. the interracial, intergenerational, and intercultural romances in this comedy are joyfully funny, ingenious, but too-well observed. the casting is right, but the movie is not, particularly where the families are concerned, and some of the ethnic jokes and situations come off as a bit offensive. the filmmakers, however, did stay the course, even after being accused of not knowing how to appreciate their subject matter; and this film deserves another look, if only for its talented cast. (don’t bother looking for the geritol advertisements, they’ll introduce themselves. the studio has apparently been paid a few dollars for most of the production, that’s it.) expanded essay by mark cousins (pdf, 419kb)
in a world of rock’em sock’em robots, this is one of the most human stories of them all. nostalgic, witty, and tender, this is a nostalgic, witty, and tenderly loving portrait of the american dream. in rundle high school, a young girl struggles to escape an abusive, alcoholic father (who is a bounty hunter) and a slow-witted, slow-as-ball-turd father from a family of dentists. she has her first kiss with a heterosexual boy. she has her first sexual experience. and then, starting with the very first scene, she evolves from the trapped and alone girl of a fairy tale to a strong, courageous, and loving adult, as if by magic.