Warning: Do not watch the previews for this movie. They are incredibly misleading and I was un-pleasantly surprised with this film.
I truly believe that if all I knew about this movie was that it was based on a true story, I probably would have liked it. However, because I saw the stupid previews, I was convinced that this would be a feel-good “Mamma Mia” meets “Notting Hill” kind of a film. it was NOT. Instead it was “A Walk To Remember” meets “Anna Karenina” and it was no bueno.
Before I rant about all the random subplots that make this movie annoying, I want to say a couple positive things:
1) Meryl Streep, as usual, was amazing and her imitation singing of the real Florence Foster Jenkins was impeccable.
2) The piano accompanist was the best part of this film
3) Carnegie Hall is so pretty
Those are the positives, now onto my frustrations (spoiler alert):
1) Never in any of the previews did they mention that Florence was SICK! It makes everything about this film NOT funny. How can you laugh/chuckle at awful singing when you know the performer is deathly ill? The answer is: you can’t. So instead, you’re just sitting there watching Meryl get bullied by all these people knowing that she’s about to die of a disease she inherited from her super gross ex-husband!! You spend the entire movie wanting so badly for Meryl to be good at singing or to finally hit that one Mariah Carey note, but instead you just cringe and feel awful.
2) Was Hugh Grant really the best option for this film, Hollywood? We all know he’s a sleaze, so giving him a side chick in this film basically set him up to be the villain. Why didn’t you cast Stanley Tucci? He’s pure of heart and obviously loves Meryl, so why not cast him as the cheating husband? At least the audience would be willing to try and understand his situation, but Hugh?! Nope. Nobody likes him. So that “marriage” you tried to convince us of was doomed from day 1 of casting.
3) The main message of this film is still a mystery to me. Here’s a few messages that I thought I was supposed to glean from this film:
A- Don’t give up on your dreams because you might have enough money one day to fulfill them
B- If your spouse is delusional about their abilities, pay everyone off to convince them otherwise
C- Singing is about being brave not about being talented
D- Making a record is the best way to get to Carnegie
Now I didn’t do particularly well on the SAT especially on the questions that asked you what the main thesis of a paragraph was, but I promise you, this film’s main thesis was impossible to grasp. I know it’s based on a real story, but every movie has a moral or a message or a theme….except for “Florence Foster Jenkins” apparently.
4) Last but not least: those army men. I understand that this took place earlier in the 20th century, but they were SO RUDE and I honestly don’t know how you can sit in Carnegie Hall and be that disrespectful! I don’t know if that part of the film was exaggerated for the movie or if it was real. Whichever it was, it made me mad and I don’t think I could sit through that again.
Popcorn Rating: 2 popped corns
I honestly could not watch this again. There were some funny moments and again the pianist MADE this movie. But as a whole, it’s too painful and too confusing.