Quick recap: Professor Higgins places a bet he can turn Eliza Doolittle, a poor flower girl with the most grating voice, into a proper woman in just a few months’ time. It proves to be quite the challenge.
Fun (?) fact: Although Audrey Hepburn went through lengthy vocal training, it is Marni Nixon’s voice you ultimately hear. This bummed me out more than I expected it to.
My thoughts: My Fair Lady is the musical to end all musicals. It’s hilarious at times, the music is catchy, the costumes are ridiculously beautiful and it’s got freakin’ Audrey Hepburn in the leading role! So why didn’t I love this movie?
Before I get to the heavy stuff, here are the fun highlights:
favorite song- Wouldn’t it be Loverly (because it’s fun to sing)
least favorite number– I’m an Ordinary Man
Favorite scene– the race track
I think I walked away from this movie with sadness because it’s actually a depressing film. Eliza is a poor girl who has clearly had a rough life. The only family she has is her drunk father who only seeks her out when he needs money. She finally catches a break with Professor Higgins, but is reduced to being humiliated and tortured and mocked mercilessly, all because of her status and voice. And when she finally, FINALLY triumphs, she realizes she was nothing more than a lab rat or a monkey to keep everyone’s attention. And then in the end she goes back to Higgins who has not treated her well at all, except to grudgingly admit that her face is alright. I get the humor in this, I really do, and Audrey Hepburn plays the role so perfectly. But if you look at the facts, this is a woman who had nothing and still has nothing, so she must return to the man beat her down because he’s grown accustomed to her being around.
Final review: 4/5. The music and performances make this a true classic although the story itself is icky.
Up next: The Young and the Damned