Saturday, July 5, 2008

Well Helloooo, WALL-E!

After viewing WALL-E for a second time this week, I felt inspired to do something. Not to join Green Peace or boycott every multi-billion dollar mega-corporation in the country (since that would prevent me from going to the movies in the first place), but the film has inspired me to go back and rediscover the obscure classic, Hello, Dolly!, one of WALL-E’s rare treasures found in the mountains of society’s trash.

Much like the robot WALL-E, Hello, Dolly! was an item of which many similar models were made. High-budget studio musicals had ruled the 40’s and 50’s, but by 1969, the public seemed to had lost its taste for them. As result, Hello, Dolly! was largely forgotten (again, like WALL-E).

But unlike other movies that either get better or (more commonly) get worse with age, Hello, Dolly! seems to have stayed the same. Much like WALL-E continuing to do the same job after 700 years, Hello, Dolly! has the same effect now as it did in 1969. The same criticisms about Barbra Streisand and Walter Matthau can be made. The same praises for the grand production numbers can be sung. It’s not a depreciating flop, not an appreciating masterpiece, but a rare constant, continuing to do what it’s always done year-after-year.

Whether this quality of staying the same is a blessing or a curse on the film’s legacy is a matter of taste. Personally, the more times I watch it, the easier it is for me to disregard the imperfections and the failings, allowing me to enjoy the parts that make me smile, and will continue to make me smile every time I feel like viewing it again.
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It may be that only me and WALL-E can stand to watch this film so much, but I’ve found that Hello, Dolly!’s only real flaw was bad timing. 10 years earlier and perhaps it would have been more successful, but the film itself would still be the same. A delightful, old-school, musical spectacle. I encourage you to indulge in this rare cinematic treasure.

1 comment:

Seanna said...

Keep up the good work.