We all have stories of movies being ruined by people talking through them in the theater. Today, let’s celebrate that time a movie experience actually restored our faith in humanity.
Last night, I went to see Singin’ in the Rain on the big screen, in honor of the film’s 60th anniversary and the fact that today would have been Gene Kelly’s 100th birthday. I was with a friend who’s also a huge Gene Kelly fan, and I told her we should elbow each other each time one of us begins to tear up from pure happiness. Normally, if I’m planning on writing about a movie, I’ll take notes, but I just wanted to enjoy this. I lost count of how many times we nudged each other. I also couldn’t tell you how many times I got chills, or how many times I looked over and saw my friend grinning larger than ever before (I’ve known her 15 years now), or how many times I thought, how long have I been smiling?
What made the experience even better was the number of times the sold-out crowd applauded. It wasn’t just when the film started and ended and after Kelly’s iconic “Singin’ in the Rain.” It was also after Donald O’Connor’s “Make ‘Em Laugh,” after O’Connor’s and Kelly’s hoofing number “Moses,” after Debbie Reynolds joined them for “Good Morning,” after the “Broadway Melody Ballet,” and after the scene in which Lina Lamont (the fabulous Jean Hagen) told R.F. (Millard Mitchell) about her PR blitz and why Kathy (Reynolds) would have to continue as her voice double. When the movie ended, my friend and I talked as much about the awesome audience as we did about the dancing and the sly, saucy industry humor that holds up. In short, I like people again.