TV-PG, 180 min.
Writers: Richard Rogers (music), Oscar Hammerstein II (lyrics), Howard Lindsay, Russell Crouse
Starring: Carrie Underwood, Stephen Moyer, Audra McDonald, Laura Benanti, Christian Borle, Michael Campayno, Sophia Anna Caruso, Peyton Ella, Michael Nigro, Ariane Rinehart, Grace Rundhaug, Ella Watts-Gorman, Joe West
Ho hum, ho hum. How to review this movie without getting snarky or downright cruel? I'm not sure it can be done.
In the spirit of full disclosure, it’s important to know that I did not watch the entire production. That being said, I could’ve. I just had better things to do. Well, that does sound nasty. What I mean is, I didn’t hate it so much that I just had to turn it off. But then, I like watching bad movies sometimes too.
Is this really bad? The source material is great. The production… well, the kids were good. Not great, but good. Good enough for national television? Um… can I refrain from answering? Of course, I can. This is my blog.
I liked some of the supporting adult characters, including Laura Benanti as Elsa. I liked Liesl. The two leads, however…. Well, Carrie Underwood can sing. Stephen Moyer was too soft. He lacked the harshness required for the character at the story’s beginning. Either Underwood attended to the Wooden School of Acting, or she just didn’t bother to take any sort of acting classes. I don’t like to be cruel like this to actors, but really, invest a little money—you got it—and learn about a trade before you attempt it. Sorry. That might have been too far for a critic, but sometimes, well, you need to know at least some basics before you do something.
Watching Underwood say her lines was akin to listening to kids read aloud in English class. I mean she was better than that. It would’ve passed for some good cold reading, but emote a little maybe; and a camera knows a lie, so you have to really emote, not just fake it. Then she’d start singing, and it was like a totally different performer was inhabiting the same body. “The Possession of Maria von Trapp”. There’s a new project for the makers of “Paranormal Activity”. I know everybody is going to be coming down on Underwood for all the same things, hell they were before the thing even aired, but… there’s truth to it. If you aren’t an actor, you might not be the best choice for a leading role, especially one of the most iconic ones in cinematic history. I liked her singing even better than Julie Andrews’, though. But that’s meaningless without the acting.