West Side Story (AFI #51)

“Movie’s still goin’ but its sleepy time as soon as its over, and its not like I dont know how it ends. Most of you know Im very much into musical theater, so it should come as no surprise to the few of you who didnt already know that yes I have been involved in a production of West Side Story. Just an ensemble bit. Mostly stood around in the background. But suffice it to say I know the show pretty damn well. As far as the movie, I have very conflicted feelings.

On the one hand, its got the same fantastic music, and the dancing even more so. Back when I took a musical theater workshop class junior year, we learned the same Jerome Robbins choreo for “”Cool””, which is some of the most fun dancing I’ve ever done. And we’ve established Im a dancer, so I know what Im talkin’ bout there. Then on the other hand, the film has some serious miscasts and a little too much cheese in some places. Although would I feel the same way about the cast if I wasnt so attached to my cast of Jets, some of whom are still some of my best friends in the world? I dont know. But I do know that Natalie Wood’s godawful accent will forever be \m/ nails on chalkboard to me.

Yeah, so more than anything else, this movie is just all about theater nostalgia for me. I could go into that further, and start saying things like “”…the audience for actually caring about the love story”” or “”Is the mirror gonna stay black?”” or go really old school (and before my time) with “”We all shot Chino…shit…Tony”” but there’s only a handful of you who’d appreciate that. And its not entirely movie relevant.”

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