Mary Poppins (1964), The Sound of Music (1965), Help! (1965), Doctor Zhivago (1965), The Jungle Book (1967) -- even South Pacific (1958) -- all play prominent roles in shaping my taste in both music and movies.
While South Pacific and I were both born the same year, it is somewhat before my time in terms of consciousness -- and it was actually many years before I saw the movie -- but there's always been a connection. I think it's because the album cover was seared into my brain practically at birth and it made a big impression on me -- the romance, longing and passion in that picture was palpable, and I could almost hear them singing. I kind of have the same thing with Dean Martin's Volare -- not to be confused with Plymouth's Volare, though that does make an appearance in "the story of my life" (Brenda's, 1976, baby blue) -- which, I'm told, was very popular when I was in utero and I must have "heard" it on the radio and mom humming and/or singing along, and that has to be why I've always just inherently known that song. (One of my nephews has the exact same thing with Chumbawumba's Tubthumper.)
The '60s and '70s were my formative years and there's no doubt that Julie Andrews, The Beatles, Walt Disney, and Rodgers and Hammerstein all left their mark.
I do love a musical, on stage or screen.
Of course I watched The Wizard of Oz every year as a kid, but it wasn't until the early '70s, and my first viewing of Show Boat (1951) that I really fell -- hook, line and sinker -- for musicals. The crappy, dark, cloudy, formatted-for-TV version (ours was a portable b&w) did nothing to lessen the impact of Ol' Man River, Ava Gardner, and Howard Keel on me. Add Shirley Temple, Fred & Ginger, Oklahoma! -- Elvis -- to the favored movie mix, and you might be able to imagine how I felt about Funny Girl (1968), Lady Sings the Blues (1972), Jesus Christ Superstar (1973), A Star is Born (1976)...
Dreamgirls (2006), which I saw last night.
Sure, a musical is hokey -- so is Star Trek, in my opinion, but I'm still a huge fan -- and this one seemed to start out as a "regular" movie with songs and then turn into a musical (where a song is actually dialogue). I am willing to make allowances and suspend reality, to get lost in the music (or space) -- in the feeling and emotion conveyed in a song.
The results of a personality test I recently took (from a fairly reliable online source, if there is such a thing) were straight down the middle. It said that I should not be alarmed or worried about that result, that sometimes it happens when there's a lot of stress or change, when someone is stretched to the limit, trying to be everything to everyone (who, me?)... just come back and try again another time. So, I guess it didn't really surprise me that I cried during the movie -- I was kind of surprised by how much, though, and that I cried so hard all the way home. It was a lot like when I saw Freaky Friday. I was thinking about my daughters... it was Magic's fault.
If Jennifer Hudson isn't signed for another movie or recording something RIGHT NOW, there's something wrong in the world. Eddie Murphy is absolutely FANTASTIC -- I really got a kick out of his costumes (the crocheted cap! the blue velvet suit!). Beyonce was a very pleasant surprise.