Quick recap: A young girl, Geneviéve, is in love with a guy, named Guy. He gets drafted to the war so the two decide to sleep together before he leaves. Geneviéve gets knocked up (of course) and after waiting a few months for Guy to write to her, gives up and marries some rich dude.
Fun (?) fact: Every word of this movie is sung. EVERY. WORD.
My thoughts: Musicals have been hit or miss for me on this list and I fully expected this one to be in my ‘miss’ category by the end of the night. Every single word sung? COME ON. But actually, it had the effect of making the story more realistic. If you think about it, most musicals transition to singing and dancing with the most elaborate sets and then everyone goes back to what they are doing, as if it never happened. With The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, the film is one entire song and the same melody can be heard from beginning to end. At some point I forgot the singing was even there and was able to focus on the story and characters.
After getting over my shock that this is a musical, my next shock came as I realized that I was watching a melodrama. COME ON. But as far as melodramas go, this one wasn’t so bad. In fact, it seemed almost….logical? No, most teenage girls wouldn’t marry a random rich guy after pledging their undying love for the man that knocked them up. But Geneviéve is in a different position, about to have to care for a newborn when her mother, the owner of the umbrella shop, can barely stay afloat. For survival’s sake, it makes sense to marry. Poor Guy, though. Apparently know one told him that his girlfriend had moved on and that he would never get to meet his child. Never fear, however, because Guy is ridiculously good looking and ends up with his late Aunt’s nurse. They marry and have a child of their own, a little boy named François. Years later, the two meet again, where Guy discovers that Geneviéve has also named her daughter François! The conversation is about as awkward as it gets and the two part, realizing that you can still be happy even if you aren’t with the one you planned on being with the rest of your life.
Final review: 3/5. It’s worth watching if you are a fan of musicals, especially ones that don’t have happy endings.
Up next: Louisiana Story
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