Jimmy Doyle is a saxophonist on VJ Day he meets young lounge singer Francine Evans and they start a very rocky relationship and try and balance having a career in old New York.
Jimmy is very self centred yet smooth talking and eventually manages to get Francine to agree seeing him again. The celebrations for the end of World War II were pretty big but everything is focused on the couple. Some scenes to follow are a little bit tough to watch as the relationship certainly has some abusive moments. Jimmy is not really a nice person at all, he is controlling and wants everything to go his way and for him.
He seems to grow rather jealous of his wife and that she could go on to be a big star. They have travelled in a band together and when parts of that change it could either be a big break for Jimmy or all come crashing down. The pregnancy is not take in the way Francine had hoped either, although I was very shocked with the outcome of that.
I want to make it clear that I watched the long version of the film, as I feel that it is important considering that meant an amazing extended musical number which was outstanding for any musical that is for sure! It gives Liza Minnelli the chance to shine in the way she can be her best. I really loved that musical number and thought it was just magical, everything you want in a musical.
The film does feel like it is two different films suddenly mashed in the middle as while the centre is the song New York, New York with Jimmy writing the music and Francine adding the lyrics which is certainly a big part of mashing the romantic drama together with the musical aspects.
John Kander and Fred Ebb wrote the Theme from New York, New York and everyone just thinks its a Frank Sinatra song. Not at all it was written for this film and for Liza Minnelli to sing! Which really makes me wonder why it has taken me so many years to watch the DVD I bought of this film. Something I am now pleased to have caught up with, despite some of the bad reviews and reception around the film I really did enjoy it. I find it really sad that this actually caused Martin Scorsese to go off the rails and have many issues!
I felt at times that this could have been Liza Minnelli’s equivalent to her mother Judy Garland’s A Star Is Born, some of the similarities felt a little bit uncanny. I know I cannot help but draw comparisons at times she is so much like her mother it is quite scary. Robert De Niro in a musical, yes that is right and his character is not really very nice at all but that gives him the opportunity to put in a very good performance. We aren’t really given many big supporting roles it really does focus on our two main characters.
New York, New York . . . If I can make it there I’ll make it anywhere!