'The Country Girl' - Movie Review

It's strange how we come to movies sometimes: Mika's brilliant song "Grace Kelly" includes a Grace Kelly quote: "The last time we talked Mr. Smith, you reduced me to tears. I promise you it won't happen again." While it's been slightly changed ("Mr. Dodd" vs. "Mr. Smith"), the quote is from this movie. Since the reviews - while limited - were good, I thought I'd give it a try.

Bing Crosby plays Frank Elgin, an aging former musical star. Grace Kelly is his younger wife, the titular "Country Girl," and William Holden is his new hard-ass director in a musical stage play. The problem is that while Frank comes across as very charming, he's a self-pitying, lying alcoholic.

The script is trying to tackle big subjects - self destruction, but also loyalty and attraction outside marriage. It was a noble attempt, but these days it looks terribly contrived. Also the emotional turning points in each of their three relationships are all abrupt and unbelievable. Crosby and Holden both do good work with a crappy script, but Kelly (possibly the most beautiful woman ever to grace the silver screen, and usually a decent actress too) can't get her footing on the admittedly bad dialogue.

There are many old films worth tracking down, but this isn't one of them.