"Wouldn't It Be Lovely"…Without the Music?

         I will be the first to admit, I do not really like musicals. It is not that I do not think the actors and actresses are very talented (because they are!) but I just would rather not hear song after song after song! When I saw the 1964 musical My Fair Lady (directed by George Cukor and based on George Bernard Shaw's 1913 Pygmalion), I loved the storyline and the characters but could have done without the music!

         I absolutely loved the actors in the film. I thought Audrey Hepburn did a great job as Eliza Doolittle. I also loved Rex Harrison as Professor Henry Higgins. Furthermore, who does not adore Stanley Holloway as Alfred P. Doolittle? I enjoyed the dynamics between the characters and also their costumes. I did not, however, enjoy their songs. What was worse was the fact that Hepburn's voice was almost always dubbed over by Marni Nixon. I did not think her singing looked or sounded natural. In fact, some of the songs ("Just You Wait, Henry Higgins" and "The Rain in Spain") were actually sung in part by Hepburn, and I liked her voice better! At least it was not so painful to see her lip-syncing, anyway! Hepburn sings the first part of "Just You Wait" and "The Rain in Spain," and then Marni Nixon sings the higher, more operatta-ish part.

         I think the movie deserves its role as a classic. However, I do not think the songs helped it in any way! If it were just a play instead of a musical I would enjoy it a lot more. The characters are great, the costumes and the scenery really add flair, but the music is unnecessary, in my opinion!

Amber Lyles

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