Give me a movie where people burst into song and dance for no logical reason and I'm happy ... assuming the musical numbers are good, the story isn't dull and the characters are interesting. Nine, the latest movie musical directed by Rob Marshall (Chicago) has a lot of flash and dash ... so why wasn't I charmed?
Veteran screenwriters Michael Tolkin and Anthony Minghella scripted this adaptation of a 1982 Broadway musical, which includes a few new songs. The Broadway version itself is a musical remake of the Federico Fellini movie 8 1/2. That may be part of my difficulty with Nine -- I've always found Fellini's film tiresome and interminable. I'm more of an Amarcord girl myself.
Adding music to Fellini's story doesn't change it much. Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis) is a famous Italian director in the early 1960s who is two weeks away from the start of production on his next film ... and he has no screenplay and no idea what he wants to do. He tries hiding at a remote resort to brainstorm and canoodle with his mistress Carla (Penelope Cruz), but is soon found out by his producer and entourage, including his wife Luisa (Marion Cotillard), who used to be the star of his earlier films.