Not So Believable

     My Fair Lady, the 1964 film, directed by George Cukor--can I compare this film to George Bernard Shaw's 1913 Pygmalion? I do not know--I can try. They are both based on the same story. So how much different can they be? I would say that My Fair Lady was for one--not quite so believable. This thought arises not because of the acting or the characters, but because it is a musical. Nevertheless, I did find myself enjoying the musical

     Now I have never really enjoyed a musical; to me life is not singing and dancing; reality is not garbage men singing and dancing, although I did find that this was entertaining. There has never been a time where I have seen normal people just break into song in the middle of the street. However, I have been known to break into "Old Time Rock and Roll" on occasion while cleaning house. Just an afterthought here, perhaps life should be singing and dancing?

     However, the humor of the original Pygmalion showed through in My Fair Lady. Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison) was just a cool, "laid-back kind of guy." He seemed to get excited about the small stuff. Henry would often break into song with Eliza (Audrey Hepburn) just because she spoke a word correctly.

     As Audrey Hepburn portrayed her, Eliza played her part as though she really enjoyed it. She worked hard to speak the way she was being taught, sometimes getting frustrated and letting us see that. She showed emotion well. For example, when they all returned from the ball and Higgins and Pickering (Wilfred Hyde-White] were congratulating themselves on how she had performed, I could almost feel her dismay.

     This movie did give me more of a sense that Henry was in love with her, more so than Pygmalion. The song he sang, "I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face," seemed to say it all. Did I like this film? --Yes, very much, and my being able to say that about a musical, well, actually surprises me.

Rory Hughes-Melton

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