Carol Platt Liebau: For a Little Something Different . . .

Thursday, June 29, 2006

For a Little Something Different . . .

The 2004 movie about Cole Porter's life -- "De-Lovely" -- has started to play again on cable.

Love Kevin Kline, a fellow native of St. Louis (his parents owned a wonderful toy store called "The Record Bar" where my parents would shop for our Christmas gifts, and they remember Mr. and Mrs. Kline confiding in them their worries when their son, Kevin, decided to pursue a career in Hollywood). The movie itself was a bit of a disappointment, though, due to its relentless obsession with Porter's sex life and its somewhat bizarre structure.

Even so, if it did anything to familiarize younger people with Cole Porter's music, then it's performed a great public service. He's one of the most gifted, witty and all around wonderful American composer/lyricists ever (and my favorite, although I love Irving Berlin's work, too). In the film, standout numbers include Elvis Costello's "Let's Misbehave" and Robbie Williams' rendition of the title song, as well as Natalie Cole's haunting cover of "Every Time You Say Goodbye" and Alanis Morrisette's version of "Let's Do It." (Sheryl Crow's "Begin the Beguine, though, is so ugly and off-key that the angels must have wept when they heard it. And what were they thinking to force Kevin Kline to sing the beautiful but difficult "In the Still of the Night"?). The best, though, is Cole Porter's own recording of his amazing hit "You're the Top," which runs during the credits.

In any case, here is a wonderul 1949 article about this most gifted man from The New York Times in 1949 -- back when it was still worth reading.


Post a Comment

<< Home