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The Third Annual (?) February Romance, Music & Musicals Challenge *Discussion Thread* Feb 1-28, 2022

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The Third Annual (?) February Romance, Music & Musicals Challenge *Discussion Thread* Feb 1-28, 2022

Old 01-19-22, 01:28 AM
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The Third Annual (?) February Romance, Music & Musicals Challenge *Discussion Thread* Feb 1-28, 2022


presents
The Third Annual (?) February Romance, Music & Musicals Challenge




| Challenge starts at dusk January 31, 2022 and ends after February 28 |

| LIST THREAD |

| 2021 discussion thread |
| 2021 list thread |
| 2020 discussion thread |
| 2020 list thread |

Rules

Back by popular (?) demand, the Romance, Music & Musicals Challenge occupies a space sometimes held by the Academy Award Movie Challenge, but the long window for this year's Oscars means that this will give us some stability in February 2022.

Eligible titles include romantic movies and TV shows, filmed concerts, music-themed movies, and musicals--they don't have to fit all three categories! So this is the time to catch up on Netflix's tick, tick... BOOM, Sleepless in Seattle, Disney's Encanto, Spielberg's West Side Story, leftover Hallmark Christmas movies, Peter Jackson’s Get Back, and the After... trilogy. Use your best judgment on qualifying titles or ask in the discussion thread, but we tend to be pretty lenient. Live events (concerts, stage musicals, etc.) can also be listed, but sorry, not your Valentine's Day date with your sweetheart or streaming an album on Spotify.

Post your list in the list thread. Be as creative or as basic with your list as you want.

You may number (or not number) the items on your list any way you like. We're still breaking new ground here!

Last edited by davidh777; 01-25-22 at 12:31 PM.
Old 01-19-22, 01:30 AM
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Re: The Third Annual (?) February Romance, Music & Musicals Challenge *Discussion Thread* Feb 1-28, 2022

Checklist
  • Watch a performance that was recorded/presented during COVID (virtual choir, isolated, distanced, or masked performance, etc.)
  • Watch a rom-com
  • Watch a concert film
  • Watch an eligible title with an LGBTQ+ theme or elements
  • Watch an eligible title that is a period piece or is based on a book or historical event
  • Watch an eligible title that features dancing
  • Watch an eligible title starring at least one POC
  • Watch a melodrama
  • Watch a an eligible title made for a TV channel or streaming service
  • Watch an eligible title based on/recording of a Broadway show
  • Watch a winner of an Oscar or the Grammy Award for Best Music Film
  • Watch an eligible title set in Paris, London, or NYC
  • Watch a film listed in AFI's 100 Years of Musicals
  • Watch an eligible title featuring one of the following: Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Katharine Hepburn
  • Watch an eligible title featuring one of the following: Sandra Bullock, Hugh Grant, Anne Hathaway, Rachel McAdams, Julia Roberts, Will Smith
  • Watch an eligible title featuring one of the following: Julie Andrews, Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Marilyn Monroe
  • Watch an eligible title featuring one of the following: Anna Kendrick, Barbra Streisand, John Travolta, Renee Zellweger
  • Watch an eligible title that includes music by one of the following: George Gershwin, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim
  • By decade:
  • -1930s
  • -1940s
  • -1950s
  • -1960s
  • -1970s
  • -1980s
  • -1990s
  • -2000s
  • -2010s
  • -2020s

Last edited by davidh777; 01-19-22 at 01:46 AM.
Old 01-19-22, 01:53 AM
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Re: The Third Annual (?) February Romance, Music & Musicals Challenge *Discussion Thread* Feb 1-28, 2022

In accordance with discussion in the compendium thread about this year's long Oscars window, the Romance, Music & Musicals Challenge returns for 2022! And after two years of pandemic, who couldn't use some romantic or musical escapism?

I repeated the checklist from last year with a few changes (any other suggestions welcome):

-Covid performances are no longer tagged as a 2021 exclusive category
-Black lead has been expanded to POC lead (West Side Story, Encanto, etc.)
-New category for movies made for TV channels (Hallmark, Lifetime) or streaming services (AppleTV's CODA or Come from Away, Netflix's tick, tick.. BOOM!). This is not intended for films that were released in theaters that then happened to hit a streaming service. Something like In the Heights debuting on HBO MAX at the same time as theaters does count (and hey, no one's monitoring this stuff anyway).
Old 01-19-22, 04:17 AM
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Re: The Third Annual (?) February Romance, Music & Musicals Challenge *Discussion Thread* Feb 1-28, 2022

I'm participating and the Oscar Challenge will provide some good overlap choices.
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Old 01-19-22, 01:40 PM
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Re: The Third Annual (?) February Romance, Music & Musicals Challenge *Discussion Thread* Feb 1-28, 2022

I've decided to set a somewhat ambitious goal of earning a silver trophy on iCheckMovies's AFI's 100 Years... 100 Passions list. It's even more ambitious to reach 75/100 on Letterboxd because there's a nine-film discrepancy. Those are ones I watched before I tracked at-home viewings, which means I last saw them so long ago I owe them another viewing. I need 28 for the silver on iCM, but 37 on Letterboxd to reach the 75% threshold. I can tell you this much: I'm holding off until the Oscar overlap for Gone With the Wind. No reason to sit through that a second time and not get double credit for it! Even the Letterboxd threshold is doable, but it will require me to be less streaky with my viewing than I have been of late.

Also, for anyone who may have a use for it, I put together that list on Letterboxd here.
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Old 01-19-22, 06:14 PM
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Re: The Third Annual (?) February Romance, Music & Musicals Challenge *Discussion Thread* Feb 1-28, 2022

Nice list there Travis! Thanks for sharing
Old 01-20-22, 11:30 AM
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Re: The Third Annual (?) February Romance, Music & Musicals Challenge *Discussion Thread* Feb 1-28, 2022

Originally Posted by shellebelle View Post
Nice list there Travis! Thanks for sharing
"I am a river to my people."
Old 01-21-22, 06:32 PM
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Re: The Third Annual (?) February Romance, Music & Musicals Challenge *Discussion Thread* Feb 1-28, 2022

I completely forgot about this challenge and recently watched Get Back, Tick, Tick... Boom, and Encanto. Oh well, I'm sure I can find something to watch
Old 01-21-22, 09:02 PM
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Re: The Third Annual (?) February Romance, Music & Musicals Challenge *Discussion Thread* Feb 1-28, 2022

It's too early to count for the challenge, but Fathom Events is presenting Casablanca this Sunday and next Wednesday. Details here.
Old 02-01-22, 05:19 PM
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Re: The Third Annual (?) February Romance, Music & Musicals Challenge *Discussion Thread* Feb 1-28, 2022

I streamed the 1937 movie When You're in Love on Tubi. It stars Grace Moore as an opera singer and Cary Grant as the Cary Grant-ish guy who gets mixed up with her. It might just have been my imagination, but it felt like the ad breaks were more frequent and longer for this than I'm used to with Tubi. It didn't help that just about every segment included Moore performing an opera song. I don't object to opera; in fact, I'm curious and even found the prospect of hearing some of it performed here appealing. But Tubi didn't provide any closed captions and I had absolutely no idea what Moore was singing so I ended up zoning out. For every five minutes of narrative story I could follow, I sat through ten minutes of ads and opera. It wasn't an ideal viewing. Tubi did make clear that they got the movie from Crackle, so maybe the ad breaks were Crackle's fault and not Tubi's.

My favorite joke came early, when Moore visits Grant in jail. "How'd you get in here?" she asks, surprised to find him in a cell. "Influence," Grant replies, with that deft blend of amusement and pseudo-pride that he did so brilliantly throughout his career.
Old 02-01-22, 06:09 PM
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Re: The Third Annual (?) February Romance, Music & Musicals Challenge *Discussion Thread* Feb 1-28, 2022

I finally watched the Chorus Line documentary Every Little Step. I played in the pit for this show in college, so I have fond memories and good knowledge of it. The documentary focuses on casting the revival (so the actors have to audition to play… auditioners), but it also has some footage of the original production. A really good watch.
Old 02-02-22, 12:08 PM
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Re: The Third Annual (?) February Romance, Music & Musicals Challenge *Discussion Thread* Feb 1-28, 2022

Adding: I got the quarantine check by watching “A Chorus Line in Quarantine,” in which cast members recorded a number at home then it was edited together. Virtual performances aren’t new by now, of course, but it was nice to see some of the actors who were in the documentary still associated with the show, even if they’ve left the roles by now.
Old 02-03-22, 04:21 AM
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Re: The Third Annual (?) February Romance, Music & Musicals Challenge *Discussion Thread* Feb 1-28, 2022

I've started my challenge by completing a three-film collection on the Criterion Channel, The Showstopping Nicholas Brothers. It includes: Down Argentine Way, Sun Valley Serenade, and Stormy Weather. I knew only the title of the first one and nothing about the second, but I've been meaning to see Stormy Weather for ages. All three films are heavy on song and dance numbers and light on things like plots. It seems almost random to build a collection around the Nicholas Brothers, because their appearances in those three films feel almost random. They just kind of appear out of nowhere, dance, and then disappear. You could cut them out of all three movies and while you'd be missing out on their increasingly ambitious and impressive moves (their Stormy Weather number is legitimately iconic), nothing about the movies would be otherwise affected. They don't even get character names, and no one ever acknowledges that they were there. To be honest, I think someone should take up appearing in movies like that again. Just out of nowhere, BAM! There they are, dancing for a couple of minutes, and then POOF! they're gone, without anyone in the movie even indicating that they were there at all.

As for the movies themselves, Down Argentine Way is notorious for having, to be charitable, mangled its depiction of Argentina by conflating several Central and South American cultures, none of them Argentine. Even setting aside that, there just isn't much to it. Don Ameche is affable and Betty Grable periodically looks like she's having fun dancing, but it struck me as rather generic and thin overall. Sun Valley Serenade has more plot than the others, though hardly anything all that deep or complex. The premise made me uncomfortable at times (a young refugee of undefined age falls in love with her American sponsor and spends the movie trying to convince him to marry her), and the movie clearly knew it would and even seems to have intended it to, because the guy she pursues voices that discomfort. I got a kick out of seeing a ~30 year old Milton Berle, though, and the final number is one of the most striking sequences I've ever seen in black and white. I genuinely don't think it would have impressed half as much had it been shown in color.

Stormy Weather... Well, it's a veritable Who's Who of early 20th Century Black entertainers and I don't have anything original to add to what's been said and written about it over the years. I'll just point out that during the Nicholas Brothers' iconic dance, pay attention to the saxophonist on the left. That dude moves his fingers and his eyes, and nothing else the entire time they're leaping over him. The other musicians flinch and move, but not that guy. Was he frozen with fear? Was he so composed he wasn't fazed? I have no idea. But I couldn't keep my eyes off him, waiting to see if he'd react at all, and he never did.
Old 02-03-22, 10:47 AM
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Re: The Third Annual (?) February Romance, Music & Musicals Challenge *Discussion Thread* Feb 1-28, 2022

Nerd alert: the reason the dance numbers felt randomly included is because (primarily) southern movie theaters sometimes edited those sequences out if they didn't want to screen black artists in the films they showed. Gotta appease those racists.

The Nicholas Brothers' routine in Stormy Weather is hands down, THE BEST DANCE SEQUENCE PUT ON FILM. I always marvel at the saxophone player too. I think he's just too cool for school.
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Old 02-06-22, 06:47 PM
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Re: The Third Annual (?) February Romance, Music & Musicals Challenge *Discussion Thread* Feb 1-28, 2022

I've discovered a problem with my objective of reaching 75% completion on the AFI 100 Years... 100 Passions list during the challenge. I don't have ready access to enough films to get to that threshold. Believe it or not, but spread across all the streaming services I have access to, not even half (46) are in circulation. That's from the entire list of 100. However, I can only use 16 (and that includes an additional 3 that I own), 6 shy of my target. To illustrate just how much streaming services are abandoning anything older than Gen Z can remember from before they started high school, here are the numbers:
  • Amazon Prime Video: 7/100
  • Crackle: 1/100 (On Golden Pond, also available on two other services)
  • The Criterion Channel: 2/100
  • Disney+: 4/100
  • Filmrise: 0/100
  • HBO Max: 19/100
  • Hulu: 4/100
  • IMDb TV: 2/100
  • Kino Now: 1/100 (Way Down East, also available on two other services)
  • Netflix: 1/100 (My Fair Lady, which isn't available elsewhere but I've already seen it so it doesn't help me)
  • Paramount+: 7/100
  • Peacock: 0/100 (including their premium tier)
  • Plex: 1/100 (It's a Wonderful Life, also on another service)
  • The Roku Channel: 2/100
  • Tubi TV: 8/100
I've only noted instances where a service only has one film and it is also available elsewhere, but there are a lot more that appear on more than one service. If you have Disney+ and Paramount+, Hulu becomes entirely redundant, for instance. There are also other streaming services out there, of course, but that's the lion's share of the principal ones. I think AppleTV Plus only offers original content but even if they include catalog films, they don't have any of the 100. PBS and Shout! Factory also have none, but obviously one wouldn't expect either of them to have any (although Shout! has been distributing Universal films on disc, they aren't really streaming any of them as yet).
Old 02-09-22, 05:29 AM
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Re: The Third Annual (?) February Romance, Music & Musicals Challenge *Discussion Thread* Feb 1-28, 2022

I started to watch my first movie of the challenge last night, Lord Of The Dance. But soon after it started, I got called away to help take care of something. And I never got back to it.
Old 02-09-22, 01:42 PM
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Re: The Third Annual (?) February Romance, Music & Musicals Challenge *Discussion Thread* Feb 1-28, 2022

Travis, thatís frustrating when you have that few opportunities over multiple services. I guess it really shows how older content is low priority.

Originally Posted by shadokitty View Post
I started to watch my first movie of the challenge last night, Lord Of The Dance. But soon after it started, I got called away to help take care of something. And I never got back to it.
I always preferred the basic Riverdance to the Flatley-fest, but the dancing is still good. While the original Riverdance is still my favorite, I have other versions with better quality, so maybe I should try to watch one this month. Netflix also added some kind of animated version that Iíve been meaning to watch.
Old 02-10-22, 08:05 PM
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Re: The Third Annual (?) February Romance, Music & Musicals Challenge *Discussion Thread* Feb 1-28, 2022

Originally Posted by Travis McClain View Post
I streamed the 1937 movie When You're in Love on Tubi. It stars Grace Moore as an opera singer and Cary Grant as the Cary Grant-ish guy who gets mixed up with her.
...

My favorite joke came early, when Moore visits Grant in jail. "How'd you get in here?" she asks, surprised to find him in a cell. "Influence," Grant replies, with that deft blend of amusement and pseudo-pride that he did so brilliantly throughout his career.
Grant, or its writers, recycled that joke the following year in Bringing Up Baby, although it's just one of scores of jokes as good or better in that movie. Bringing Up Baby did not receive any Academy Award nominations, despite having what I think was Katharine Hepburn's best performance, one of Cary Grant's best performances and possibly Charlie Ruggles' best performance. Comic performances are consistently undervalued in these awards.

Last edited by ororama; 02-10-22 at 08:23 PM.
Old 02-13-22, 11:10 AM
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Re: The Third Annual (?) February Romance, Music & Musicals Challenge *Discussion Thread* Feb 1-28, 2022

was feeling masochistic and watched Sia's "Music" and rewatched "Cats" - oh good lord ... eeeeesh !!
Old 02-13-22, 03:05 PM
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Re: The Third Annual (?) February Romance, Music & Musicals Challenge *Discussion Thread* Feb 1-28, 2022

As teased in the intro, I did end up watching the After trilogy on Netflix because Iíve seen those gauzy posters for a few years now and wondered. Ugh! The first one was like a catch-all of college-teen-angst cliches; the second one the college kids are now in the working world (while still in college), and it becomes Fifty Shades of Gray for the YA set and without the BDSM. The third oneÖ I dunno, more of the same. Lots of sex, no nudity, plenty of responsible condom use. Great thing is I donít have to spend any more time wondering about this series.

Originally Posted by Giles View Post
was feeling masochistic and watched Sia's "Music" and rewatched "Cats" - oh good lord ... eeeeesh !!
I watched it once for curiosity. Rewatching would indeed have to be for masochism.
Old 02-13-22, 05:31 PM
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Re: The Third Annual (?) February Romance, Music & Musicals Challenge *Discussion Thread* Feb 1-28, 2022

Originally Posted by Travis McClain View Post
I've discovered a problem with my objective of reaching 75% completion on the AFI 100 Years... 100 Passions list during the challenge. I don't have ready access to enough films to get to that threshold.
Have you checked your local library? My library is amazing. It's small, but since we're part of the wider library collective, there's a huge collection of movies able to be sourced...and remember a few nights ago, you were telling me about that Hepburn movie that no one has? Someone in the collective has it, so I have it on order. Shipping takes a bit, but there's still almost 2 weeks left and that should be enough time to at least get a few titles in! AND the library is FREE! The best part!

As for Cats...I really wanted to like it. So many good singers/actors in it, but they butchered it! Yikes, not sure what they were thinking...

I have had a very slow start, but I did watch The Cutting Edge a couple nights ago. While I haven't been able to get into this year's Olympics, this one kept on popping up in my head, so I finally watched it. Other than the really 90s aesthetics, it's a pretty solid sport/romance story. Nothing too exciting or out of the box, but it checked all the boxes.

Thinking of watching Mamma Mia! tonight. Maybe The Princess Bride tomorrow to celebrate Valentine's Day...
Old 02-14-22, 07:03 AM
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Re: The Third Annual (?) February Romance, Music & Musicals Challenge *Discussion Thread* Feb 1-28, 2022

Originally Posted by ororama View Post
Grant, or its writers, recycled that joke the following year in Bringing Up Baby, although it's just one of scores of jokes as good or better in that movie. Bringing Up Baby did not receive any Academy Award nominations, despite having what I think was Katharine Hepburn's best performance, one of Cary Grant's best performances and possibly Charlie Ruggles' best performance. Comic performances are consistently undervalued in these awards.
Ah! I had a feeling that it was familiar. I'm with you all the way on Bringing Up Baby. I'm a hard sell when it comes to screwball comedies, but I absolutely loved it. I even loved it a second time, and I did not expect that. If anything, I think I found it even funnier the second time around. Katharine Hepburn was a dizzying whirlwind from start to finish, and Cary Grant was at his Cary Grant-iest haplessness. That movie convinced me that they would have made the perfect Lois Lane and Clark Kent. I can't really picture Grant as Superman, though, especially with the limitations of that era.

Originally Posted by davidh777 View Post
Travis, thatís frustrating when you have that few opportunities over multiple services. I guess it really shows how older content is low priority.
Aye. And discouraging. It's a key reason I've prioritized expanding my disc library in the last few years. I've stopped taking for granted that any specific thing will be in circulation on the day I suddenly get a whim to watch it. The Criterion Channel has cast a surprisingly wide net, but I'll be surprised if Cool as Ice ever turns up there.

Originally Posted by LJG765 View Post
Have you checked your local library? My library is amazing. It's small, but since we're part of the wider library collective, there's a huge collection of movies able to be sourced...and remember a few nights ago, you were telling me about that Hepburn movie that no one has? Someone in the collective has it, so I have it on order. Shipping takes a bit, but there's still almost 2 weeks left and that should be enough time to at least get a few titles in! AND the library is FREE! The best part!
I've considered the library. My local branch has been fantastic for years, always surprising me with new additions. And the inter-library loan system almost always comes through for me if they don't have what I want, although with half the month already over, it may not be timely. The problem is, I don't want to go out or go into the library. I think if I only needed a few and I knew I could get them all at once, I might chance it. But being so far short of my goal, I'm reluctant to go.
Old 02-14-22, 12:07 PM
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Re: The Third Annual (?) February Romance, Music & Musicals Challenge *Discussion Thread* Feb 1-28, 2022

Originally Posted by Travis McClain View Post
I've considered the library. My local branch has been fantastic for years, always surprising me with new additions. And the inter-library loan system almost always comes through for me if they don't have what I want, although with half the month already over, it may not be timely. The problem is, I don't want to go out or go into the library. I think if I only needed a few and I knew I could get them all at once, I might chance it. But being so far short of my goal, I'm reluctant to go.
Ask if they'd put them on the curb or do curbside delivery for you. Ours started doing that and it really worked out nicely. I get you on the time part, but never hurts to try! I can at least see the status of the items, if they are in transit or not, which is helpful.
Old 02-19-22, 10:05 AM
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Re: The Third Annual (?) February Romance, Music & Musicals Challenge *Discussion Thread* Feb 1-28, 2022

Originally Posted by Travis McClain View Post
I've considered the library. My local branch has been fantastic for years, always surprising me with new additions. And the inter-library loan system almost always comes through for me if they don't have what I want, although with half the month already over, it may not be timely. The problem is, I don't want to go out or go into the library. I think if I only needed a few and I knew I could get them all at once, I might chance it. But being so far short of my goal, I'm reluctant to go.
Kanopy is also a great resource if your local library has it. The library pays for each movie that's accessed, so I only use it when there is no other way. I've only been using it for two months, but the selection is amazing. Not so good on classic Hollywood, unfortunately. Hoopla is similar but the selection of films isn't as wide.
Old 02-19-22, 10:24 AM
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Re: The Third Annual (?) February Romance, Music & Musicals Challenge *Discussion Thread* Feb 1-28, 2022

Iím sure people have already factored this in, but there are numerous double-counting opportunities with this yearís Oscar nominees, such as CODA, tickÖ tickÖ Boom!, Encanto, Summer of Soul, and West Side Story. Havenít yet seen SOS or WSS, but I liked Encanto, and the first two were maybe my favorite films this year.

Last edited by davidh777; 02-19-22 at 10:32 AM.

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