Director: Irwin Winkler

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

The muddled story might be forgiven, but not much else about this failure can be. The first hour of the overlong De-Lovely (2004) was not exactly well done, but good enough to get by, & the songs of course were fine.

The second hour plus another half hour got worse & worse until even Ashley Judd as Cole Porter's wife seemed to have given up on the project & no longer put any emotion into her delivery of badly written scenes & lines.

The big destroyer is the bad casting of Kevin Kline most unconvincingly as the youthful mixed race slender elegant physically beautiful bisexual composer. Kline was not any of these things & was only convincing as the aging pathetic Cole (& even that was so overplayed that the "pathetic" angle was merely a grave insult to the composer).

Good though Kline can be in the right role, in this role he came off as a repulsive over-the-hill old chickenhawk who couldn't possibly have been loved by anyone, male or female.

A vibrant beautiful younger actor who was himself mixed race could have made this take on the Cole Porter story convincing, even if the script remained mediocre. But with both bad script & ferociously bad casting, it's resoundlingly awful.

A similar "musical drama" with queerly inapropos casting was the aging Kevin Spacey fobbing himself off as a youthful Bobby Darin in Beyond the Sea, which likewise misguidedly makes its central figure pathetic instead of dynamic.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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