‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ is a fun dramedy that celebrates history’s worst singer – REVIEW

Meryl Streep is at it again with her take on the devoted music lover who just can’t hit the right note

One of history’s most infamous singer is singing away in the big screen and who else but Meryl Streep to do her justice. Stephen Frears has made a film that is a surprising look at Florence Foster Jenkins. We get to uncover layer after layer of this bubbly harmful yet horrible singer. Jenkins (Meryl Streep) is just your typical music enthusiast that happens to be born with a horrible singing voice. As she tries to get herself seen, the people around her such as Cosme (Simon Helberg) and St. Clair (Hugh Grant) try to get rid of all the negative reviews that may sadden her.

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As much at it is a story of ambition and dreams, it is also a funny movie with over the top caricatures of real life characters. This helps enable some very funny scenes that would never happen with more down to earth characters. That caricature feel transcend unto the whole movie. It does have a stranger than fiction gloss that is weird for a movie that is directly adapted from real life events. However, the movie does a great job transitioning from the more comic moments to the dramatic emotion filled moments.

Meryl Streep owns up and leads the movie as anyone would expect. However, a great surprise was thrown in this movie. Simon Helberg was fantastic as the introverted piano player. His looks and high pitch voice acting is perfect for the role. As for the other supporting cast, do their job, but nothing stand particularly out. There’s even some characters which were wasted.

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The mistress character and her storyline was wasted. Nothing ever came of it and the story felt like a waste of time. There could have been many dramatic and even comic moments out of that very story line and the movie does only one. Except for that one scene, everything about that story line doesn’t work. From the confusing introduction to the wasteful end, it’s the one plot device that could’ve been cut out of the movie.

As much of a waste of time that the mistress story line was, nothing was as forced as the ending. Although they did a good job transitioning from drama to comedy and comedy to drama, they completely missed it right at the end. It was more dramatic than the entire movie and it suffered from a dramatic tonal shift. On top of that, the ending could be seen from a mile away and the director just didn’t know how to end it another way.

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Even with some forced elements and a predictable ending, Florence Foster Jenkins offers some dramatic and comedic fun. Meryl Streep and Simon Helberg carry the movie through some tough times, but this movie could’ve been more than it actually is.

REVIEW: B

 

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