I’ve recently become infatuated with the brilliance that is young, lovely Barbra Streisand in all of her Technicolor-glory. Two words.
Unfortunately I was not alive to see this fabulous musical on Broadway, but I am lucky enough to have witnessed it on screen in my living room. Close enough. I first saw Funny Girl quite a long time ago, but I felt this urge to watch it recently, and now I am completely obsessed again. I don’t even know the words to encompass all that is Funny Girl. I’ve always been a huge fan of musical theatre, having been in tons of different productions myself due to this passion. I’ve seen many musicals on/off Broadway, but Funny Girl, despite the fact that it is a movie now, happens to be my favorite (besides Wicked). It was made in 1968, but the magic of it remains the same. I won’t go into too much detail about the synopsis of the movie but I’ll divulge you in a little summary.
Barbra Streisand plays Fanny Brice (a real person but the story is mostly fictional), a young Jewish ingenue with overwhelming talent in musical theatre but who looks much different than other actresses during that time. If you weren’t pretty, you weren’t worth Broadway. Due to her “skinny legs” and “big nose”, she is mostly overlooked by producers. She struggles to get into any shows, but once a famous Broadway producer hears her incredible voice, well, as she sings in “Don’t Rain On My Parade”, BAM. She then meets and eventually falls in love with Nick Arnstein, a rich gambler who courts her. The whole story is mainly about her struggles to success as well as her rocky, tragic relationship with Nick.
This movie is spectacular because, let’s face it, Barbra is spectacular. Without Barbra the movie would be nothing. All of the songs she sings are perfect, as she pours the most funny and lovely emotion into her performances as well as having unbelievable talent. I have to admit, I do know the words to every song now, but that is because they are wonderful.
“Star quality” is a term used now to express people such as the Kardashians and Justin Bieber. I am not saying the people nowadays do not have talent, but talent back when this movie was made was certainly much more than it is today. To be a star, you had to have raw, natural talent, talent that you had to really work for. Dreams didn’t come easily. Persistence was key. There was no auto-tune or technology to make yourself sound/look/be better than you actually are. There wasn’t any insanely, over the top elaborate concerts and sets. There was just you and your ability, your drive, your passion in whatever it was you did. And Barbara is definitely the epitome of this. Despite the fact that tons of people saw her as “ugly” due to her physical differences, “odd” due to her unapologetic ambition, it never stopped her from achieving her dreams. In this movie, well, that is the whole point of Fanny Brice.
I would most definitely recommend this movie to anyone. Don’t blame me if you have “People” stuck in your head all day.♦