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26 July 2011

The Producers (2005) [Musical Film-a-Thon] 8#

Directed by: Susan Stroman 
Written by: Mel Brooks & Thomas Meehan
Genre: Comedy, Musical
Runtime: 129 Minutes
Although it doesn’t compare to the almighty original, The Producers (2005) is a pretty good comedy musical and is also quite funny. The songs are comedic and fun, but not the most memorable. Former writer and director of the original, Mel Brooks stepped in to produce this film about producers and also wrote the screenplay so the film isn’t useless after all. If it weren’t for Brooks in the producers chair the film might have been a little bit worse and the thing that makes the film good is the way it reminds you of the previous if you’ve seen it. In the end the film isn’t as bad as some critics have said and still has a good spark of comedy, but not long lasting comedy.

Max Bialystock (Nathan Lane) was once one of Broadway's most successful producers, but a string of flops has thrown his career into a tailspin, and now he struggles to raise the cash to stage new shows by playing gigolo to lonely old ladies. While going over his books, accountant Leo Bloom (Matthew Broderick) notices that Bialystock raised more money than he spent for one show, and points out that if one raised enough money for a show that closed in one night, you could make more off a flop than a hit. This strikes Bialystock as a brilliant scheme, and he decides to give it a try, persuading Bloom to join him in staging the world's greatest flop. They discover the vile script of ‘springtime for Hitler’ written by a neo-Nazi and begin to look for the worst crew they can. But will the production be a flop?

Along the way we meet the beautiful Swedish woman Ula, played by the stunning Uma Thurman who becomes Max and Leo’s accountant, quite easily. The acting was bearable and Nathan Lane portrays Bialystock very well in his homage-esque act version of the original. Leo Bloom is the cowardly and spineless accountant who seems to have a problem of holding a blue blanket he has had since he was a baby that he claims is ‘a minor compulsion’. Broderick is certainly no Wilder (original film) but does create a good bit of comedy in his first moments in recreating the original film’s hilarious first moments.

The music was fun and the choreography was glittery goodness, but the film as a whole seems more suited for the stage, which it is. One musical scene we have is of Max and Leo’s visit to the worst director, who if I am not wrong, Ed Wood D. Wood Jr. the acclaimed worst film director of all time was the inspiration. Although the only thing I can see inherited would be the cross-dressing. In this scene we have the musical number ‘Keep it gay’ in a pretty offensive, but very funny scene. The thing I like about the song is it’s pun on the word gay. During the time of the original film was a word usually meaning happy. And very proof of this is even in musicals. One title that comes to mind is the 1934 film The Gay Divorcee. So in the end the music was enjoyable, but is nothing worth getting the 'OST' for. 

It is funny that this film is about 2 guys trying to make a flop, because this film didn’t gross up to it’s budget. The film features dancing grannies, an eccentric neo-Nazi and even a mansion of gays. The film only remains good because of it’s rich source material and how it reminds you of the original so much. The film may not played out as good as the original but still brings a few laughs to the screen.

My Rating: 7/10

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