It’s Always Fair Weather (1955)

It’s Always Fair Weather is a musical about three war buddies who return after the war is won, get drunk, and agree to meet back at that very bar in ten years. Fast forward through an interesting and entertaining “10 Year Montage”, the men reunite as promised and find they have nothing in common anymore.

The premise of the film had me interested, partly because I thought it might be a musical featuring an ensemble cast. Gene Kelly has always had a kind of brash attitude, and to be honest, it’s a little overbearing some times. I was enticed by the idea of him as one among three, preventing his personality from overbearing me. Unfortunately, I should have realized this was studio-era Hollywood. Kelly is the clear star of the film, with Michael Kidd, one of his war buddies, barely getting a single scene to himself.

The film is like so many other musicals in its plot and characters, but it was a mold that was always used then, so I’ll talk about how this film does as preset musical. We get to hear the characters’ thoughts a lot, sometimes in song form. There’s a really playful tune to The Blue Danube when the guys meet that makes use of the characters’ dissonance between their actions and thoughts.

There’s also some good dance numbers, one involving trash can lids and a very memorable scene featuring Gene Kelly on roller skates. I’ve seen many Kelly films and this may be the most impressive thing I’ve ever seen him do. There’s certainly a lot of fun and energy in this picture.

For me, the weak characters and story attenuate my interest in this musical as they have in so many others. I do, however, admire its impressive dance scenes and uniquely expressed songs. I’m fairly neutral toward It’s Always Fair Weather, but musical fans and Kelly fans will almost certainly have a good time.

Final rating: 6/10

–James A. Janisse





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