For my first movie of my Summer Movie Challenge, I chose An American in Paris for one simple reason: I own it! Also, I love Gene Kelly, but have never gotten around to actually watching this particular film, so it seemed like a good place to start.
An American in Paris tells the story of Jerry Mulligan, and American GI who dreams of being a successful artist, and thus settles in Paris. He falls in love with a shop girl, Lise, but is also being pursued by a rich woman who claims to want to be his patron, but is interested in more than his art. Lise is also not without her secrets…
While the dancing is fantastic, as one would expect from Gene Kelly, and the music lovely, again as expected from George Gershwin, the movie as a whole doesn’t quite stand up. The plot is tenuous at best, and I didn’t feel like there was any depth whatsoever from the characters or the actors playing them.
The cutest part is the “I Got Rhythm” song, in which Gene Kelly is absolutely adorable with a crowd of French kids:
Thus, overall, it is Gene Kelly, and thus An American in Paris worth a watch if you enjoy dancing. The climax of course comes from the extended (and I do mean extended!) dance scene at the very end of the film, a feature fans of Singin’ in the Rain are familiar with, though it is much better than that one, in my opinion–especially the ballet!