Movie Review by Ania Kalinowska
Starring: Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Uma Thurman, Will Ferrell, Gary Beach
Director: Susan Stroman
Has-been Broadway producer Max Bialystock (Nathan Lane) is a successful flop creator. His shows, long ago critically acclaimed, are now stinkers, almost guaranteed to close even before they’ve opened! When his accountant, Leo Bloom (Matthew Broderick), verbalizes the thought that more money could be made from a flop than a hit, Max’s creatively sneaky mind turns the idea into a plan. A plan that involves canoodling, bamboozling, and finding the worst play ever written…
Mel Brooks, one of the few people to stash an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony under his belt, brings us this ‘Broadway musical movie’, splicing his original 1968 film of the same name with the 2001 stage triumph. The result is a welcomed bit of glitz and glamour fighting its way through the current box office jungles of CGI lions and big furry apes. It is a movie riding not on effects but on the talent of its very human performances.
This version of THE PRODUCERS is a really robust, ravishing romp! For starters, there is top-notch stuff from a great cast. Lane and Broderick are as comfortable as ever in characters of their signature roles (which they obviously perfected on Broadway), and an unforgettable Will Ferrell as a Nazi-obsessed lunatic is just one delight of many.
A hilarious script and dazzling musical numbers keep the show on the road, moving swiftly and steadily along. Sealing the deal and thus blasting the production into stellar proportions is the original director of the Broadway musical – Susan Stroman – who has already won two Tony Awards for her work on that version. Honestly, the movie flows as seamlessly as a recycled classic should.
The music is enjoyable (you might get an urge to tap your feet although it’s pretty tough to try and sing along) and the gags are both funny and fun, sometimes silly slapstick but more often witty outtakes on spoken or sung language. Even if you don’t appreciate the story, you cannot deny that this is entertaining. The only reason I can think of to skip this film is if you are strictly (and I mean all the way) anti-musical. And even then you might surprise yourself and like it!
The only sad bit is that this show has to end. Go see this number!