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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Sound of Music


Based on the book: The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria Von Trapp
Composers: Rogers and Hammerstein
First appeared on Broadway:1959
This version released: 1965

So this movie is harder than hell to get a hold of. If you want to spend $1500 on the Blu-Ray solid platinum million-year anniversary pack that comes with free music lessons from Julie Andrews herself, then you're in luck.* If, however, you only want to view it once while reviewing it, then you're SOL. None of your friends own it, so you can't borrow it. Everybody and their dog has a hold on it at the library. Rodgers and Hammerstein have some kind of iron-clad copyright, so you can't watch it on YouTube, and you can't rent it on Amazon.
Your roommate says she would kind of like a hard copy, so she gives you cash, and off you go at fuck o'clock at night to your local Bullseye. The Bullseye wants to sell you the new version, with Carrie Underwood. It is late. You have shit to do. If you had wanted Carrie Underwood, you would have watched it online. You are ready to punch someone and scream "Serenity now!" in their face. But then - there it is. It is a few more dollars than expected, but it is actually a very good deal, and includes multiple DVDs, with behind-the-scenes footage, sing-along features, and a disc that you can put in a karaoke machine, so you can annoy your friends with off-key versions of "My favorite Things." You are about to explain this bonus awesomeness to your roommate when it occurs to you:
You are her friend.


Fuck.


*No, no one is offering a pack that includes Julie Andrews music lessons. You'll just have to sobbingly sing Do-Re-Mi to yourself in the shower like always.

*******


The film starts out with sweeping panoramic helicopter views of Salzberg, Austria and the surrounding landscape, which is not only cool-looking, but also kind of awesome, as Austria is a sort of a secondary character in this movie. As we come down into the foothills, we go straight into...



Song:  "The Sound of Music"
Our heroine, still unknown fully to us, spins on the grass-covered hillside and sings about nature, and how she likes to hang out in the hills when she's sad or lonely, and doing this makes her feel better.

She's interrupted when she hears the church bells chime, and then it's all "fuck-fuck-fuckity-fuck," because she's clearly forgotten something, and she bolts out of those aforementioned hills for town. We get our credits montage over some more shots of the town, and just in case you missed it written all over the case, or the first time in the credits, here is another reminder that this is a Rodgers and Hammerstein production:


Me, I'm super into giving credit where credit is due. I am. But I feel like I'm starting to get hit over the head with a Rodgers and Hammer-stein, and it's driving me nuts. It's like sitting down to watch a film, and a guy periodically comes up behind you with a bullhorn and shouts, "THIS IS A RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN PRODUCTION!" Okay, got it. Thanks. Just in case you forgot, they're mentioned twice more in the credits before we actually freaking start the movie. 
So the end of the credits comes when they gives us the time and place of the film (Salzberg, Austria, end of the "golden" thirties), which I guess is nice, but not really necessary, as you could probably figure it out while watching.

So we go into the abbey, where the nuns are gathering for prayer or chapel or something. Bet the acoustics in those places are pretty freaking awesome. Lots of shots of penitent-looking nuns. One of the nuns (maybe the head nun?) is wearing Liberace gloves.


Post-prayer time, the head nun has ditched her fancy gloves and is walking around the courtyard with two other nuns when a fourth approaches to say that she can't find Maria. They all kind of roll their eyes in amusement, because this isn't a rare occurrence. The head nun asks another group of nuns what they think of the missing Maria. She isn't a full nun yet, I guess, just in some kind of probationary period.

Song: "Maria"
The Mother Superior and some assorted nuns from the abbey sing about Maria, who is a bit too hippy-dippy for them. While it's obvious that Maria is a not problem-problem for them, the fact that she's not a good fit for the whole bride of Jeebus thing means that they're going to have to tell her to GTFO sooner or later. Now, a lot of these nuns like her. They call her lamb and darling, and say that she makes them laugh. But this one bitch calls her a demon, which is way uncalled for. She sings in the halls, and that makes her a demon? This nun is the one that the kids whisper about on the playground. "Don't piss off Sister Psycho. I heard she beat a kid to death with a ruler because he picked his nose in class." So anyway, nothing is resolved by this song, they just wanna let the audience know that Maria needs to find a new job soon, cuz this is not working out.


The song is briefly interrupted when the girl from the hills - who we now know is the perpetually-late Maria - comes running into the abbey at top speed, still in "fuck-fuck-fuckity-fuck" mode, but then she comes up short when she realizes that the Mother Superior is standing right fucking there, and she makes this face like "Zod-dammit" before she walks past in irritation.

Maria, now dressed like a nun instead of a dairy maid, goes to see the Mother Superior for a talking-to. Only she isn't getting a talking-to. While she tries to apologize for being late  and disorderly and talking too much and too fast, the Mother Superior tells her that she thinks Maria is struggling, and maybe she should go away for awhile. There's a Naval captain nearby living in a big house with his seven children, and he's having a hard time keeping a governess.
"Hey, that's a lot of kids," protests Maria. "And also, how come he has a hard time keeping a governess?"
 It's a valid question. Girlfriend wants to know what's in store for her.
But the Mother Superior gives her a BS answer, saying God will show her the way. Y'all, she didn't ask about God's opinion here. She asked why dude can't keep a governess, and you pretty much told her to wait and see. Anyway, Maria is being volun-told to take the position.

In the morning, Maria leaves with her stuff, not feeling great about being tossed out of the abbey on her ass. She boards a bus to go to work.

Song: "I Have Confidence"
This song isn't about confidence, it's about faking confidence. "Pretend you're confident, and everyone will buy it, so eventually your fake confidence will become real confidence." That shit actually works. I recommend it. In this case, Maria is so not confident, thinking about this captain guy and his seven children. Geez, you'd think she was expecting to show up and find that the von Trapps were all zombies.
Actually, that's kind of funny - a governess tries to tutor a family of zombies, and then attempts to teach them to sing, which is difficult, considering that only some of them have vocal chords. Somebody should make that movie. I bet it's terrible. I'd review that.


So Maria arrives at the von Trapp villa feeling like she's the shit and nothing can faze her, then she's shown into the front hall by the butler, and now maybe things are not that great.


While she's waiting for the butler to get the captain, Maria wanders into a side room, which is decorated in chandeliers and gold wall panels. She's stunned for a moment, but then begins curtsying to invisible rich people, and putting on fake airs, and the captain comes in wordlessly, and how did I never notice what an early twentieth century Liz Lemon Maria is? Captain von Trapp seems pretty pissed that this quasi-nun is wandering around his house without invitation, none of which is spoken, and all of which is oozed from his body language. Good job, Christopher Plummer. I know I feel uncomfortable.
He barks at her not to go into certain rooms, and then remarks that she doesn't look like a governess. He then makes her turn a circle for him, like she's a bitch in a dog competition, and he's the judge. What a douchebag.


What she's wearing isn't fancy enough, and he demands that she change her clothes so she can meet the children.
"Yeah, when you enter a convent, they give your clothes to the poor," she explains. When he asks about the dress she is currently wearing, she quips, "The poor didn't want this one."
He's not amused. WTF, dude? That was funny!
He tells her that she needs to make herself some better clothes, then says she's the twelfth governess they've had since his wife died, and the last one only stayed two hours.
Dude runs his house like a ship, with everything scheduled out. He lays it all out there, and she responds by snapping off a salute and a "Yes, sir!" Also funny. Also received with a scowl. This guy clearly needs to get laid more.
 Then he seriously, seriously blows a freaking whistle, and his children coming running like obedient dogs. They march down the stairs and line up in birth order, in freaking sailor suits. One is missing. She wanders in, nose in a book, and when the captain holds out his hand, she gives him the book and bends over. He taps her lightly with it, then she hops in line. Okay: she isn't being punished for reading, just for not coming when the whistle was blown. Reading is still cool.
The captain introduces Maria, and good God, are they throwing daggers at her. Maybe these are those demons that Sister Psycho was talking about.


So they all have special whistle sounds, and when he uses them, each kid steps forward, barks their name, and stomps back in line. The captain gives Maria a whistle as well. She's expected to not only learn their names, but their whistle call as well. And also her whistle call.
"Like hell I'm doing that," she answers, but she takes the freaking whistle anyway. "Whistles are for dogs, yo."
He asks if she was this much trouble at the abbey, and she replies, "Oh, much more, sir!" She gets crickets for that quip as well. He starts to leave, and she asks what his call is.
"You may call me captain," he scowls. Cuz you know, whistles are for dogs.
He leaves and she finally freaking gets a laugh for her efforts, but from the kids.
She has each of the kids tell her their names and ages, and they all have some smart-ass thing to say in return, including that her dress is ugly. The youngest, Gretl, likes her. Maria then makes the rookie mistake of telling them that she's never been a governess before, and they proceed to give her shitty advice in return. A kindly housekeeper shoos them outside for a daily walk and takes Maria to her room, but not before she finds a frickin' frog in her pocket. The housekeeper tells her that one governess got a snake in the pocket.

We skip to dinner-time. Maria, of course, is late. She goes to sit down, but jumps up screaming. There's a pinecone on her chair. She tries to pass it off as rheumatism instead of ratting out the kids. She insists that they pray before eating, then she passive-aggressively gets on the kids' asses for putting that frog in her pocket. The younger girls all start crying. This is A) kind of funny that she made them feel so crappy for pulling a prank on her, and B) complete bullshit. Even if a kid feels badly about pulling a prank like that, no amount of friendly sarcasm from the governess is going to induce them to tears.


A telegram comes for the captain. Liesl, the oldest girl, asks who brought it, and the butler Franz replies that it was the bicycle telegram boy, Rolf. She asks to be excused. After reading the telegram, the captain announces that he is going to Vienna the next day to see "the Baroness," that he'll be bringing her back with him, and also "Uncle Max." The kids are excited about Max.

Leisl runs into the garden to rendezvous with the telegram boy, Rolf, who is waiting for her. Apparently, they do this every time the captain gets a telegram. There's brief talk about politics and Germany, which is really just foreshadowing, and then he says that he worries about her because she's so young.

Song: "Sixteen Going on Seventeen"
Rolf tells Liesl that, as a tasty teenage girl, everybody wants to fuck her, so she should watch out. He promises, as a guy who is seventeen going on eighteen, that he has her back. She hits on him, but he is hesitant, because he knows that her father is scary as all get-out. nevertheless, she seems to miss that he also would like to fuck her, he's just going about it in the slower, more careful way. Let's face it: if you're a boy who's seventeen going on eighteen, you'd like to rut anything with a pulse. But if you're "dating" a girl, you're going to trot out the dinners and activities, because no way is she going to give it up for free. So Liesl accepts Rolf's "help" that he'll steer her away from the beds of others (and maybe closer to his own?), admitting that she's naive and will need guidance. The line "bachelor dandies, drinkers of brandy/ What do I know of those?" is pretty funny. I don't know about brandy-drinkers, but bachelor dandies are most likely gay, honey. Those guys are just looking for beards in WWII.
This is totally my favorite song of this film. They're talking in the garden at night, and when it starts to rain, they go into this gorgeous little enclosed gazebo to dance. Unless you're the most tomboyish of girls, at some point you have worn a skirt full enough to swirl around you when you spin, and Liesl's pale pink dress does this with gusto. So some little girl who may be into dresses is watching this and thinking about how Liesl has the prettiest clothes, and the handsomest boyfriend, and they are mature and sophisticated, because don't they dance like champs? They're romantic and graceful. But if you're twice their age, like some of us, you notice the underlying sexual tension, and recall how awkward it really is to be sixteen going on seventeen.
Anyway, Rolf gets up the courage to plant one on Liesl at the end of the song, then he runs off into the rain, because that's what one does when one kisses a girl, I guess. Liesl, for her part, makes a squeeing noise like a fangirl in an elaborate cosplay who has been waiting in line for hours to meet her favorite actor, and the line has just started to move.



Upstairs, Maria is getting ready for bed when the housekeeper comes in with bolts of fabric. Apparently, her clothes are so hideous that the captain had fabric brought in so she could make herself some prettier dresses. Ugh, so douchey. She asks if she could have some more fabric to make the kids some play clothes.
"Yeah, right," says Frau Schmidt. "The captain runs the house like a ship since his wife died, so no playing or singing or doing anything that reminds him of his late wife."
Maria asks how long he'll be gone, and Frau Schmidtr replies that last time he went to see the Baroness, he was gone for a month. She thinks he'll be getting married to her before the end of summer. Maria thinks this is a great idea, as the kids will have a mother again. Frau Schmidt looks like she's holding back from talking shit about the Baroness. She adds before she leaves that Maria is getting new drapes for her room, even though the ones in there currently are fine.
Maria kneels by the bed to pray and blesses everyone by name. She actually does a pretty good job, recalling all of the kids but one. "Oh, well. God bless what's-his-name."
Ack! Creeper! Creeper at the window! No, it's Liesl, sneaking back in like a drowned rat after her tryst with the telegram boy.
She's clearly climbed up the side of the house someway, but she tells Maria that's how they get into the governess' room to play tricks on them.


Maria gives her a nightgown to put on and tells her that if they put her ruined dress in the tub to soak overnight they could probably get it clean again. While Liesl is in the bathroom, Maria checks her bed for spiders put there by naughty children. She finds nothing, but then Gretl runs into the room, frightened by the thunder storm. After a few moments, all of the kids are in her bed. Maria says the best way to not feel afraid is to think of nice things.

Song: "My Favorite Things"
This is one of those songs that I've grown to dislike over the years, not because it's a bad song, but because some fucking moron decided at some point that it was a Christmas song, and that it should be piped in over the PA of every retail establishment between the months of September and January. This song. Is not. A fucking Christmas song. It mentions Christmas like twice, and things that have to do with winter a handful of times, but the whole point of this song is that if you're feeling afraid, you can help yourself to feel better by thinking about stuff you like. It's tied in with "I Have Confidence" in that you can often talk yourself out of feeling badly by thinking of better stuff and not dwelling on the bad so much. (It doesn't work all the time, but it's still helpful on occasion.) So Maria says she likes doorbells and cat whiskers, and the kids chime in a bit with things they like, and Liesl strolls in in her jammies and her freaking drenched hair and adds "telegrams!" and everyone has forgotten that lightning is scary. Also, no one notices that Liesl has emerged from the bathroom instead of her own room.


So the kids are dancing around the room with Maria singing, and here's the captain to ruin everyone's fun. The dude is a walking wet blanket. He barks at Maria that he told her that bedtime is strictly adhered to in Castle von Trapp, and can't she recall shit like that?
"Only during thunder storms," she replies, which gets a snicker from Kurt.
Everybody who insists that females aren't funny has never watched Julie Andrews straight-lace her way through a convo with Christopher Plummer.
He demands to know where Liesl went after dinner, and Maria covers it by saying that they were hanging out doing girl stuff. Lay it on thick, Maria. Tell him you guys were talking about periods. He'll never ask again. 
He sends the kids back to bed and tells Maria that she needs discipline maybe more than the kids do. She tries to get him to agree to get her material for play clothes, but he's all, "Fuck you, they have clothes," then he leaves.
She's annoyed as hell, but then she notices those curtains that Frau Schmidt said were being replaced soon, anyway...
...and in the very next set of scenes we see Maria in her new dress, and the kids in their window-covering clothes. Hollywood, WTH? Between this and Gone With The Wind, I'm starting to think that if I want new clothes, I only have to look as far as the curtains in my room. And Liesl's dress is hella cute...
Maria tosses a tomato to Gretl, who misses and starts to cry. Why is she crying? She doesn't have to replace that. The tomato lady, though... she just lost money. But the tomato lady is all smiles, because everyone is charming in their curtain-clothes.


They go up to the hills to picnic, and the kids admit outright that they play tricks on nannies to get their father's attention, which is a little on the nose. Seriously, when you were little, and did things for attention, were you aware that that's what you were doing? My guess is no. It wasn't until years later when you realized why you had done those things. There are adults who do shit like that and have no idea until others point it out to them. 
Maria says she'll teach them a song to sing to the Baroness when she arrives, and they say they don't know how to sing.

Song: "Do-Re-Mi"
This is one of those songs that every person on the planet knows the lyrics to, because every music teacher on the planet makes you learn that first so that you know the notes of the musical scale. What's more, every musician ever has recorded a version of it. Also, Homer Simpson, to everyone's delight. Anyway, the whole point of this song is that Maria has taken the kids to her happy place in the hills, and discovered that, although they have pipes, they don't know how to sing. Like, are you serious, Sound of Music? Everyone knows how to fucking sing. The point they're trying to drive home is that Georg von Trapp is a stick in the mud who never lets his kids do anything fun, so they don't sing. Maria decides to teach them using this, and in the film, this song is used to showcase the awesomeness of Salzberg, Austria. No, really. They couldn't figure out how to liven up this song, so they basically show Maria and the kids sightseeing while they sing. You can actually take TSOM tours in Salzberg now.


When the scene changes, we get that weird "driving in a car" thing where the characters sit in a car on a studio lot, and the background rolls by behind them, while fans imitate the wind rushing by. The captain seems to be in a good mood for once, so I guess that means he is getting laid. The Baroness, who is wearing a super-ugly pillbox hat over a scarf (vomit) remarks that the mountains are fabulous, and he replies that he had them "put up just for you, darling." I vomit again.
Max, the guy in the backseat with the 'stache, isn't buying it. He sees through the captain's BS, and admits that he invited himself on this trip because he's "a very charming sponge." This guy. THIS GUY. YES.

Max is keeping it real. Georg and the Baroness? Snooty as hell.
They look like an old cigarette ad.

Max is a talent manager, and he's looking for a singing group to represent at the Salzburg Talent Festival. As they're driving down the road, they pass trees in which the von Trapp children are hanging out of like monkeys. I guess playclothes made from curtains are like Clark Kent's glasses, because no one seems to notice whose kids those are. The captain refers to them as "local urchins."

Later, he and the Baroness are walking around the grounds, chatting. The estate butts up to the river, so they're strolling there, talking about the differences between Vienna and Salzburg. She remarks that Salzburg is lovely, and asks why he leaves it so often, if he loves it there.
"Activities suggest a life full of purpose," he jokes.
God, that's so true, though. How often have we filled our own lives with "things to do" because we don't want to face up to what life is throwing our way? How terribly existential of you, Georg.
The Baroness astutely guesses that he's running away from bad memories.


They go up to the back balcony, where Max is stuffing his face with strudel, because if you recall, he's everyone's favorite freeloader. The captain goes in the house, and Max asks the Baroness if she's convinced Georg to marry her yet.
"Nunya beeswax," she answers. "Don't toy with us."
"But I'm a child. I like toys," he quips.
YOU GUYS! I love Max so much!
He wants to gossip. How did I never notice, after all the viewings of this movie, that Max is the Baroness' sassy gay friend?


Georg comes back out of the house to find Rolf chucking rocks at one of the upper windows.
"Hey, you kid!" he yells. "Get offa my lawn!"
Rolf kinda trips all over himself, considering he was trying to make a booty call with the scary guy's daughter. Then he sticks out his hand and yells "Heil, Hitler!"
...um, the fuck?
"The fuck?" asks Georg.
The kid realizes that he's talking nonsense, and also, that it's rude to mention Hitler in good company, so he fumbles in his coat and produces a telegram for Max.
But Georg is already pissed off, and he snatches the telegram from Rolf's hand before barking at him to GTFO. The Baroness chides Georg for yelling at a dumb kid, and Max says something to the effect of "It is what it is," both of which piss him off more. Georg thinks that Hitler is an asswipe, which redeems him a bit from not laughing at Maria's jokes. Max goes off to read his telegram, and Georg lapses into thought about how the Austria he knows and loves is disappearing. He's roused a few moments later, not by the Baroness, but by the sound of Maria and the kids paddling down the river in a canoe, singing "Do-Re-Mi." He goes to the gate. He almost appears to be smiling at the sight. They stand up excitedly and greet him, but the boat tips them into the water, and they climb out, laughing and sodden. Maria, wrangling the boat, greets the Baroness, who is amused.
But here comes that dumbass whistle again, and the kids are scrambling to line up. He introduces them to the Baroness, then barks at them to go get themselves presentable.


The Baroness excuses herself so Georg can yell at Maria. It doesn't go as he'd planned. He asks if they've been climbing trees, and she cheerfully replies yes. He asks where they got those clothes, and she smiles while telling him that those used to be the drapes from her room, and that they've been wearing them in public. He's incensed, but she is more so, and they get into a shouting match about how he isn't home enough to tell his kids that he loves them. It ends mostly when he starts to fire her, but then he hears singing. She admits that she taught the kids to sing a song for the Baroness.



The captain goes to the drawing room, where the kids are singing "The Sound of Music" for the Baroness and Max. Georg watches for a moment, then he walks into the room singing the same song. Not to get nitpicky here, but how does he know this song? Is it supposed to be a well-known folksong or something, because I thought that it was Maria's happy-place song, and she taught it to the kids? So he shouldn't know this song at all, right?
Especially when the stunned children turn to look at him, and they stop singing, and he's just singing on his own. Why does he know this song?
When the song ends, there's a prolonged silence, then a group hug. No, I'm not screwing with you. Apparently, the children singing is what caused Herr von Trapp's heart to grow three sizes that day.


Gretl sees Maria waiting just outside the door, and she motions for the little girl to give the Baroness a tiny bouquet of edelweiss, the official Austrian flower.
The captain leaves the room to apologize to Maria.
"Hey, so... I was a dick," he says.
She tries to brush it off, saying she doesn't know when to shut up, but let's face it: he was a dick. Just accept his apology, yo.
"Sooo, I wanna give you your job back. Cool?"
"Yeah, cool," she accepts.

Song: "The Lonely Goatherd"
So here's the thing about musicals: the story is often brought to a grinding halt so that a character or chorus can sing about something, usually how they feel about someone else, or a situation. Sometimes, you get a random song tossed in that has nothing to do with anything. "The Lonely Goatherd" is this kind of song. Maria, now reinstated, puts on a marionette show with the kids, for the purposes of entertaining their father, his girlfriend, and Max. I have to call bullshit on this scene for a few reasons, mostly timing. As in, how much time has passed that allowed them to build a complicated stage with scenery changes, and a whole slew of marionettes? Not to mention time to learn to work those marionettes, and learn the songs and choreography? We're talking about complicated shit here, and it looks like they only had a few days at most to pull this out of their asses.
Now I'm gonna stop complaining, because I love this scene. Like, "The Lonely Goatherd" has nothing to do with anything whatsoever, and the story of Maria and the von Trapps is totally forgotten for several minutes, while we watch the story of the goatherd who finds love with some chick from the village. Then we re-watch it done with goats, who then have a baby goat. Maria and the kids work all the puppets and scene changes and they freaking yodel. I'm entertained, so I give no shits that this scene stopped the main story for no reason than to show that the kids like Maria and vice versa.



So then after the show, it is revealed that Max had the stage and marionettes built for them, billed to Georg, cuz he's a nice friend like that.
In the front hall, Max announces that he's found the best singing group to represent at the festival, then reveals that it's the von Trapps. Georg chuckles, and tells Max that he is "expensive, but funny." The kids want to do it, but Georg insists that his kids won't be singing in public.
Because this is a musical, one number must be followed by another, so the kids push a guitar in Georg's hands and beg him to play. They all settle in, and the Baroness rather bitchily whispers to Max that she should have brought along her harmonica.
Hey, screw you, lady. This is a good song, so shut up.


Song: Edelweiss
Dude, I love this song. R&H wrote this song about Austria's official flower, the edelweiss. It's a kind of pretty lullaby, and the captain and Liesl sing this as the captain sort of remembers that "oh, yeah, I liked to sing." It's a nice song and a nice moment, and one in which a character actually sits down to play the guitar and sing, rather than a character just bursting into song randomly. This song wasn't used here in the stage production, but they inserted it in the film because, again, it's a nice moment.

At the end of the song he sort of shrugs apologetically as though it wasn't anything special, but it was pretty killer, so they just smile at him. Then the Baroness announces that the captain should throw her a lavish party while she's in Salzburg so she can meet all of his friends. The kids are excited about this, but he gives them a "maybe."

The next scene is, of course, the actual party, because what the Baroness wants, the Baroness gets. Just to be cheeky, the string quartet plays a waltzy version of "My Favorite Things" in yet another version of "people who shouldn't know that song know it well enough to know all the notes."
The kids are standing outside on the back patio. They're all dressed up, but parties are not for kids, so the kids and the nanny have to stay outside.
Kurt says the women look ugly. Brigita teases him and says that it's because he's afraid of them. He replies back that only grown men are afraid of women. Kurt is very perceptive.
Liesl dances with an invisible partner, until Friedrich cuts in. Maria discovers them and says they dance well. The music changes and Maria tells them that it an Austrian folk dance called the landler. Kurt begs her to teach it to him. Georg catches them and takes over from Kurt.


So here we have Maria in her finest dress, which is not even close to being finery by the standards of anyone in the house, being danced around the patio by Captain von Trapp, who is in white tie standard with gloves. They dance most of it, but they end up standing face-to-face, and they stop. Maria says awkwardly that she forgets the rest of the dance, and backs away from him. The Baroness comes out onto the patio and says they make a lovely couple.
"Hey... we have stuff to do," says Maria hurriedly. "We have a surprise for the party that we have to get ready."
She and the children turn and disappear into the garden.
The Baroness and Georg go back into the house, making weird small talk that underscores Baroness von Bitchyface's attitude of "I saw how you looked at her."
She had been looking at them earlier, during Edelweiss, too. Maria was smiling and enjoying the song, and Georg looked up at her and smiled as well. But he also looked at a lot of them during that song and smiled.
In the front hall, Maria announces that the von Trapp children wish to say goodnight to the party-goers. They get into position on the stairs to do their routine.

Song: So Long, Farewell
This is kind of a cute song for the kids to sing at the end of the party. They weren't invited, so they can only kind of just watch from behind the bushes, but they end up providing entertainment before they leave for bed. It's a pretty raw deal, but they do it anyway. Liesl gets a burn when she asks to stay up and drink champagne, but Georg tells her no. Brigita burns everyone else when she sings about how she's glad she's going to bed, because she didn't want to go to this lame-ass party, anyway.


Max is enchanted, of course. He's still trying to butter Georg up to get him to agree to let his kids sing at the festival. In the process, he wrangles Maria and begs her to stay at the party. This is really not Maria's scene, and Baroness von Bitchyface looks less than pleased, but Max insists that Maria can be his plus-one, so he stops Franz the butler and asks him to set a place for her. Franz is clearly taken aback at this request, because, you know... Maria is the help, for fuck's sake. Maria complains that she is not dressed for a fancy-pants dinner, but she is convinced to go upstairs and change. The Baroness pauses, then follows her upstairs.
Meanwhile, some old foggeys start a political convo with Georg, which he is clearly not enjoying. Herr Zeller compares the coming Nazi party with music, and Georg remarks that if the Nazis do come, that Zeller will no doubt be the entire trumpet section.
"You flatter me, sir," oozes Zeller.
"Oh, how clumsy of me," says Georg. "I meant to accuse you." Then he drops the fucking mic and walks the hell away.
And Franz rushes in with a bucket of aloe, which he dumps on Zeller.

Baroness von Bitchyface has graciously offered to help Maria get dressed for dinner, while playing up on Maria's discomfort. Rather than blatantly starting a hair-pulling catfight and screaming at her that she's a man-stealing ho, the Baroness points out that the captain has been looking at her. She knows that attention of this kind is not what Maria wants, so of course Maria flips the hell out. Bitchyface suggests that Maria is in love with Georg. Maria starts packing rather than dressing for dinner, and Bitchyface tries to act all surprised and supportive, despite the fact that she's obviously trying to keep from smiling. Her parting words, "Goodbye, Maria. I'm sure you'll make a very fine nun," are pretty nasty, considering the fact that earlier, Maria had expressed some doubts at being able to properly take the orders. And knowing nothing of the scheming of basic bitches, Maria just thinks that Bitchyface was trying to be nice to her.


Downstairs, Bitchyface gets champagne for herself and her sassy gay friend.
"You know something," he says. "Convince the Fraulein to help me convince Georg to let the kids sing in the festival."
"Maybe you should convince me," she replies cryptically.
He calls her Elsa. How appropriate. The Ice Queen.
Naw, I like "Bitchyface" better.
She and Georg dance to "Edelweiss" while Maria takes off.


Oh, my holy hell. How do I always forget that this movie is three fucking hours long? It doesn't ever seem that long in my mind... a handful of songs... nun who doesn't fit in becomes governess... teens dance in gazebo... kids sing around Salzburg... Baroness von Bitchyface... puppet show... Nazis...more nuns... singing festival? HOW CAN I ONLY BE HALF-WAY THROUGH THIS MOVIE?

So we come back to a Maria-less villa, and Bitchyface is attempting to play a ball game with the kids, where they toss to the ball to one another. She's wearing a nice dress and heels, and quite obviously sucks at this game. Liesl throws the ball and rams Bitchyface in the ovaries and I snicker. Bitchyface was okay before she realized that she might have some competition. Now I'm okay with her getting ovary-punched.



They break up the game, and Bitchyface can't get away fast enough. The kids huddle up while she hobbles back to Max on the back porch.
Max is delightfully bitchy as he pours her pink lemonade. "I can't imagine you as the mother of seven."
"Haven't you ever heard of boarding school?"she oozes. (I never realized how many people in this movie ooze. But they do.)
He chuckles and calls her "Baroness Machiavelli" and I reach through the screen and the intervening decades to high-five him. Max, let me be your hag! Please!
The kids come up to the back porch, and Max notes that they seem depressed. He says they should sing for him. Liesl gets the guitar, but their "Sound of Music" sounds vaguely like a dirge. One by one, they start to walk away and stop singing. Georg comes outside and they ask him if Maria is coming back.
"Probably not," he says cheerfully.
Max offers him pink lemonade "laced with... lemonade." OMG, Max. You are my new favorite character.
But the kids aren't letting go. He says she left a note saying she missed the abbey too much and had to leave. He then says he could probably use a good stiff... lemonade. I guess lying to one's children kind of sucks. Gretl asks when they're getting a new governess, and he awkwardly tells them that he's decided instead to replace their dead mother. Yeah, that news will cheer them up. "Bitchyface will be your new mom. Also, the Nazis are coming, Uncle Max will most likely be sent to a concentration camp for being too fabulous, and your puppy died. Hooray!"
The silence spirals and he makes a threatening head gesture at them to "get over here" and they line up to kiss Bitchyface on the cheek. This is a terrible idea. No one is enjoying this. They look like they're lined up for a viewing at a wake.


The kids go to the abbey to see Maria, but Sister Margaretta (the cool sister who we like), says that she can give Maria the message later, but that she's been in seclusion since she came back, and won't see anyone. Margaretta ushers them out, and Liesl happens to notice that there are giant dicks on the front gate of the abbey. She wonders what the hell Maria has gotten herself into.


Margaretta tells the Mother Superior that the kids came to see Maria, and MS decides that maybe Maria has been hanging out by herself for too long. She sets up a meeting.
When Maria shows up in her office, she is still all upset.
"I left because the Baroness said that Captain von Trapp was in love with me, and I'm not sure if I am in love with him, but I was there doing God's work, and how can I hook up with the captain if I'm supposed to be hooking up with God?"
Maria gets some real talk from the head nun: "It's cool to love another person and still love God. You need to go back to see if you still want to hook up with the captain. If not, you can come back and hook up with God."
"No way!" says Maria. "I wanna hide out here."
"You don't get to hide out in the abbey," says MS.



Song: "Climb Ev'ry Mountain"
The Mother Superior basically tells Maria to stop screwing around, and go and get her some. "Shit happens, life is hard, pick yo'self up, dust yo'self off, and move on." Supposedly, this song is about following dreams and shit, but let's face it: she managed to get rid of her "problem" Maria without hurting her feelings, then Maria comes right back. She has to say something to get Maria the hell out of the abbey again, and she has to sound supportive about it, so she's going to trot out some crap about dreams. Mother Superior, was it really Maria's dream to marry a dude with a house full of children? No, didn't think so. You're full of crap.
Still, gotta give props to the actress who plays the Mother Superior: this song is tough. It has high highs and low lows, and she manages to hit them all well. Good on ya.

I feel kind of bad for Julie Andrews in this scene. It's super awkward when someone just sings at you. Like, she just has to stand there and listen and stare at the MS. I have the same issue when people sing "Happy Birthday" to me, and that lasts all of 30 seconds. This song lasts several minutes.

Back at the villa, the kids have arrived late for dinner. They refuse to tell Georg where they were and instead make up a story about picking and eating thousands of berries. He smiles and says that he'll tell Frau Schmidt not to get them any dinner then. He goes in laughing to himself because his goofy children have cheated themselves out of food.
Hungry and facing down a future with Baroness von Bitchyface, they decide to sing "My Favorite Things" to try to cheer themselves up. It isn't working very well, until they realize that there's an extra voice singing, and look! It's Maria! Fuck yeah, Maria!


Everyone is super-excited, but then the kids tell her that their father is getting married to Baroness von Bitchyface.
"Oh," is all she can say.
Georg appears on the terrace, and they greet each other cordially, then he says, "LOL, j/k on that dinner. Go eat."
And the kids run inside because they're freaking hungry, not realizing that they're about to miss out on something juicy.
He seems sad that she left without saying goodbye, and Bitchyface comes outside. Bitchyface attempts to hide her surprise and displeasure. She now has a problem like Maria. Maria wishes them both luck and happiness, because she's heard that they're engaged.  Georg asks if she's staying for good, and she says she's only staying until the wind changes.  they can get another governess. (Seriously, the filmmakers snapped Julie Andrews up after seeing her in Mary Poppins. It makes me wonder if she felt like she might be getting typecast as the perpetual "nanny who fixes the family.")

Later, Maria is standing in the darkened garden, staring at the river. Georg goes out onto an upper balcony and realizes that maria is down there. He stares at her for a moment, then Bitchyface shows up. She notices that he has noticed Maria, and she becomes the most annoying woman on the planet. First it's "I have to talk to the cook about that weinerschitzel - it's too delicious for my figure!" Then she's all "I'm having the hardest time trying to find you a gift for the wedding! I mean, okay - I know you're getting me (vomit), but I wanted to get you a little trifle. I thought about getting you a fountain pen, but you've already got one. Then I thought about getting you a villa in the south of France, but those are sooo hard to wrap - ! How about yachts? One to cruise the Mediterranean, and one for your bathtub! Blah, blah, blah, we're sooo rich and douchey!"
My God, where is an ovary-destroying ball when you need one? Clearly, Georg would like one of those as well.


She starts talking honeymoon, and he turns and breaks up with her. It's pretty cold to do that in the middle of wedding talk, but frankly, it was either this or a text message, and he really just doesn't have enough data left this month. She tries to save face by breaking up with him during his break-up speech.She kisses him on the cheek, and leaves.

Georg finds Maria by the gazebo. They make awkward small talk about the kids. He asks why she left, and why she came back. She avoids the first question, and replies to the second with, "I missed the kids." Then he asks if she'll stay on, because he just ditched the Baroness and he still needs help raising his kids.
"You did?" she asks.
"Yeah, you can't marry someone if you really wanna hook up with someone else," he reasons. They kiss.

Song: "Something Good"
I hate this song. No, really. Maria and the captain realize that they love each other, and try to figure out what they did to deserve one another. So they surmise that they each had miserable childhoods, and that they were terrible people, but they "must have done something good" amongst all that evil in order to have landed here with this other person. I get it. You're dazzled that you managed to grab yourself a really awesome mate, and you're thinking "Damn, I must have done something fantastic to get this person!" Okay. I buy that. But why are they insisting that they "must have had a wicked childhood"? Don't... don't you know? Were you not there? Did someone else tell you that you were a rotten person to begin with? What sort of thing did they do to "deserve" each other? Were they really so awful that this thing that they did redeemed them? And if that's the case, why do they not remember this killer deed? If they were totally evil little kids, and then saved puppies from drowning in the river, you'd think they would recall that.
Anyway, whatever. Maria and the captain are in luuurrve, and then they kiss, and we go straight into...



Song: Maria (Reprise)
I have to ask here, what. The. Fucking. Fuck? Maria walks down the aisle of the town's cathedral or whatever, because she and Georg are getting married, and her nun friends have opted to sing.... wait for it.... "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?" How fucking rude! This is not a song one walks down the aisle to. You pick a processional. If you're super narcissistic, you pick "Isn't She Lovely" by Stevie Wonder. But you don't pick a song wherein your friends complain about how to let you know that you suck at your job. Which means her friends picked it. Because they were singing this shit behind her back, she wouldn't have known about this song at all. So they decided to spring it on her as she walked down the aisle to get married. At some point in time, I hope she heard what they were singing and turned to them halfway down the aisle to yell, "WTF, you guys?" (No, it's okay: I checked, and it's perfectly okay with God to yell "what the fuck?" in church if your friends are singing rude songs about you while you're getting married.) This song is completely inappropriate for the occasion. When is it appropriate? At the bachelorette party, where you're roasting the bride while one of the nuns cuts into and passes around pieces of a penis-shaped cake.

So we have to follow shots of a wedding (good stuff) with shots of something evil (fucking Nazis), so that's what we do. Georg and Maria are on honeymoon, and in their absence, the Anschluss has taken place and now there are fucking swastika flags on things. Yaaayyy. I guess while the von Trapps were away, they put Max in charge, which was probably not a great idea. Anyway, the kids are at the outdoor auditorium practicing for the festival when Herr Zeller arrives.
You remember Zeller, right? He was that douchecanoe at the party. Anyway, he went by the von Trapp villa, and all Frau Schmidt would tell him was where Max was. Zeller is now a high-ranking Nazi asswipe, and wants to know A) why is the von Trapp villa the only one not flying their POS swastika flag? and B) when are they getting back from honeymoon?
"Dunno, and dunno," Max answers. "But thanks for allowing us to have our festival."
"It's all good," oozes Zeller. Always with the oozing. "Austria is the same as ever, just now it has more."
Yeah, and we know what that "more" is. I'm imagining a map of Europe, and in the corner of Austria is a little starburst sticker that reads "Austria: Now With More Nazis!" 0/10: would not buy.
Zeller says Georg better get home soon so he can also be a Nazi asswipe, then he salutes and leaves.
"What's wrong with that little angry dude?" asks Gretl. "How come everyone is afraid of that flag with the black spider on it?"
Dude. Gretl: do not demean spiders in that way.
"He's angry because he's an asswipe," says Max. "Don't worry about him. You're singing tonight. Worry about that."



They climb into the car.
"Does Father know we're singing tonight?" asks Brigita. "Did he approve this?"
"Yes, he's very proud," says Max. "Don't you trust me?"
"NO!" laughs Brigita.
"You're a very intelligent girl," he replies.
Max, all of your lines are the best.
Rolf catches Liesl before she gets into the car. He gives her a telegram for her father from Berlin.
"He's on honeymoon," she explains.
"I know," he says smugly. "We make it our business to know everything."
She asks if maybe he wouldn't like to come over tonight to the house to deliver it himself?
"No, I have better shit to do now," he says, and he just fucking walks away. Douche.

There's an Asswipe Regime flag over the door of the villa because some douchecanoe has taken it upon himself to hang it there. Georg rips it down and tears it in half just before Max pulls up with the kids. They're excited that their parents are home, and they tell their father about being entered in the festival.
"Yeah, no way," says Georg. "My family doesn't sing in public."
Liesl gives Georg the telegram. Georg stomps off with it, pissed at Max.
Maria and Liesl walk away, arm in arm. She calls Maria "mother," even though Maria is seriously only like five years her senior. They both kind of like it, though. Liesl asks about getting dumped.

Liesl's dress here is dowdy, unflattering, and a gross newborn poop color.
It's awful. I hate the color of Maria's dress here, but at least the cut is flattering.

Song: "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" (Reprise)
Maria and Liesl reprise this song because Liesl has asked Maria for advice about her love life. Firstly, I don't think Maria has the vast knowledge in this realm that maybe Liesl thinks she does. How old was Maria when she went into the convent? Sounds like she was there for a few years, doing that "engagement" thing. Then she left to do the governess thing and got married. Still, she gives Liesl some better advice than Rolf does: wait a year or two, cuz everything is confusing. Then see where you stand. You're young and dumb, and you don't want to make some really stupid mistake, like hooking up with an asswipe.

Georg comes in and kicks out Liesl so he can talk to Maria, but he does it nicely so Liesl doesn't think she's being rebuffed. Then he tells Maria what was in that telegram from Berlin: the Asswipe Regime is "requesting" that he join their Navy. If he refuses, they'll probably kill him. If he goes along with it, then he has to live with the fact that he's an asswipe. Both of these options suck. He's going for Option C: GTFO.

That night, Georg, Max, Maria and the kids quietly push their car out of the front of the villa. They plan to drive to Switzerland to escape. But once outside the gate, they're sussed out by a pair of Asswipe Regime cars, literally caught in the headlights.
"Man, my car won't start," Georg says to Zeller.
Some little idiot walks forward and turns the car on. Georg shrugs like he wants them to believe that he's not good with cars or something.
Zeller says he's there to take Georg to the Naval yard to accept his commission.


"Can't go now," says Georg. "We're singing in the festival tonight."
Max whips out the program, which lists them as "The Von Trapp Family Singers." He asks why they are wearing traveling clothes.
"These are our costumes," says Maria. "Herr Zeller, we're gonna be late."
"You can go," says Zeller. "I'll escort you there, then I'll take you to the Naval yard afterward."
They get in their cars, and Georg crosses his fingers at Maria before they leave.
This traveling clothes business made me briefly wonder why no one wears traveling clothes anymore, but then I remembered that we still have those, but they have changed. Now your standard traveling clothes consist of UGGly boot-slippers, sweatpants that say "Juicy" or "Pink" across the ass, and a baseball hat. Lovely.

At the festival, the family sings and extended version of "Do-Re-Mi" that includes Georg, while he scopes the amphitheater. There are Asswipe guards everywhere, and Asswipe officers in the crowd. He then sings "Edelweiss."

Song: Edelweiss (Reprise)
This is where this song was originally located in the stage production. Some people have mistakenly believed that it's Austria's national anthem, but it's not, just a really nice song about a guy who loves his country. Edelweiss is about the captain's love for Austria as he remembers it, before the fucking Nazis came in and ruined everything, and it's a way to remind the audience that, hey, Austria is a pretty awesome place. It's kind of bittersweet here, as they're leaving and probably not coming back. Edelweiss is a love song to Austria, and you feel for the guy. At one point, he is overwhelmed, and Maria and the kids have to join in to keep him going. They invite the audience to help them finish the song.



Song: So Long, Farewell (Reprise)
The von Trapps use this as their final song of the festival and it's still cute and bouncy, only now they've included Maria and the captain and altered the lyrics slightly to make sense for the festival. But this time, when the kids exit in pairs, they look back uncertainly as they leave the stage. Georg and Maria are the last to leave the spotlight.

Max is apparently the emcee of the festival, and he gets the judges' final selections. One lady wins third prize for soloing, and she won't stop bowing, which elicits some laughter from the crowd, and leads to a bit of physical comedy with Max. Like he cares. All of this crap is buying his friends time to get the hell out of Austria. Second prize goes to some quartet, and they collect it onstage. But when Max announces the von Trapps as the winners of the whole kit and kaboodle, there's fanfare and a spotlight, but no one appears. He tries to look like he's saving face by making the announcement again (more fanfare), but then after a pause, Officer Asswipe comes running into the spotlight to dramatically yell "They're gone!" Confusion in the crowd, and rumblings among the SS officers. Max makes this face like "Haha, motherfuckers!"


A bunch of SS cars pull up to the abbey, and the nuns take the von Trapps further back in the complex. The Asswipe Regime rings the bell like doing it more excitedly will get nuns to walk faster. Dipshits, nuns don't have that kind of urgency. They got all the time in the world, and when they're hiding people from you, they're gonna move extra slow just to piss you off. Margaretta smiles at them as she slowly, slowly unlocks the gate, and they poor into the complex. Those poor nuns. It's gonna take them forever to get the smell of Nazi out of the abbey.
The Mother Superior leads the von Trapps into the graveyard, and they hide behind some tall gravemarkers. She tells them that driving out of the country is no good now, because the borders are closed. Georg thinks that they can drive into the mountains, ditch the car, and climb over the hills.
The gravemarkers are behind a gated area, so the best the Asswipes can do is to rattle the gates and shine flashlights around. Ugh, why is this scene so long? They really build the tension here, with the reeaallyy slow shining of those flashlights around every nook and cranny of those gravemarkers. Liesl suppresses a gasp when she realizes that one of those Asswipes is that little cuntbasket Rolf.
He hears her gasp, and hides behind another large gravemarker. When the von Trapps are fairly certain that they no longer hear the Asswipes in the graveyard, they come out of hiding. He shines the flashlights on them. Georg unlocks the gates, and steps outside to talk to Rolf, who pulls a gun. Seriously, dude? You're eighteen. You have no balls, and you sold your potential balls to the Asswipe Regime.


Georg has the family leave the graveyard. Rolf says he doesn't need them, anyway. Georg points out Rolf's ball-less situation. He suggests that Rolf come with them, because he doesn't really belong to the Asswipe Regime. In fact, his talking Rolf down actually gets him to the point where Rolf is unsure enough of himself that he lets Georg take his gun.
Then Georg goes one step too far: "You'll never be one of them."
This incites Rolf to go screaming off into the night to his lieutenant, blowing his rape whistle, and sending Georg flying to the caretaker's car around the corner. The car screams out of the back of the abbey, past the SS cars out front and beyond. Dude, screw that guy Rolf.
There go the Asswipe officers through the abbey, piling into their cars, but hey, what's that? The sounds of cars not turning over.
Mother Superior is locking the Nazis the fuck out of her abbey when she's approached by Sister Psycho and another nun. The confess that they have sinned.
"What sin?" asks MS, and they hold out car parts that they swiped from the SS cars.
Sister Psycho: she doesn't like it when young girls sing in the abbey, but fuck Nazis. Fuck them in the eye with a two-handed broadsword.



Song: "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" (Reprise)
Now this song kind of makes sense. Well, more sense, anyway. We end the film with the von Trapps actually climbing some fucking mountains to escape into non-Nazi territory. Are they following dreams this way? Meh. They're escaping from the Nazis, and I guess that's everyone's dream, right? Because, and I cannot reiterate this enough, fuck Nazis.



Death Toll
Von Trapp kids killed in this film: 0
Von Trapp kids killed in the last film: 0
Governesses killed in this film: 0
Governesses killed in the last film: 0
Nazis killed in this film: 0
Nazis killed in the last film: 0
Nazis killed overall: Far too few

*******

I had a new product this week, which I found in the dairy cooler. It was called "Milk," and it was pretty good. Not as creamy as cream, but still pretty creamy. It comes in different versions, so you can pick and choose based on what you like. I prefer the 2% myself, but it also comes in a watery "skim" (not my favorite), a 1%, and "whole," which is kind of the tastiest. I think whole is recommended for little kids as a health drink. The different kinds are based on fat percentages, and I guess little kids need to be fattened up or something. 2% has the most calcium, so you should reach for that if you want good bones. And skim has the least amount of fat, so you should drink that if you hate yourself.
You also have the option of making flavored milk, like chocolate, strawberry, and "soggy cereal on Saturday morning while you watch cartoons in your jammies." Along with these, milk makes a good base for hot chocolate and chai teas. It is good cold, but many people enjoy it warm before bed. 
I give milk a 7/10: would drink again.









1 comment:

  1. That was my saving grace- this saved me from having to watch the movie for a third time and having another three hour blank empty stare

    ReplyDelete