Starring: Jane Powell, Howard Keel, Jeff Richards
Director: Stanley Donen
Running Time: 102 mins
Seven Brides For Seven Brothers is an American film about a group of six farm-dwelling men, whose brother returns from a trip to the city having found himself a wife, who decide to try their own hand at marriage, but they’ve still got a thing or two to learn about getting the right lady.
This is a very nice, easy-going, relatively entertaining and largely lively film, full of brilliant colours, amazing dancing, a few decent songs, and an overall very light-hearted atmosphere. However, the only problem is that some of the musical numbers are extremely long-winded and don’t contribute much to the story at all, whilst the plot itself drops off in terms of being properly interesting about halfway through.
I’ll start with that very problem: the plot. The film starts off with the big brother, Adam Pontipee, in the town searching for a wife. That period is really interesting and engaging, because it’s a fun but also odd sort of situation that gets you immediately interested in the story and its context. Then, Adam’s new wife Milly comes home and teaches manners to the six brothers, which was another funny and interesting bit of the film.
However, that all covers about half an hour, and the rest of the film is about these other brothers finding their own brides, which is effectively the exact same thing as we see in the first scene of the film, multiplied by six, and made a lot less interesting, but a lot more musical, meaning that my interest in the story really dropped off from that point onwards.
I think that the musical numbers really did impede in the flow of the plot. I loved the opening song, and a few others in there, but the more slow-paced songs or that famous, but extremely long and boring barn-raising dance, really made me feel just bored with the story, and that further reduced my interest and enjoyment of this film.
However, on the plus side, this film’s light-hearted qualities do help to make it that little bit easier and more entertaining to watch. I saw a review that said that this was a sexist and misogynistic which ‘romanticises gender oppression’, but to be honest, this film’s intentions are not at all sinister, it’s just a jolly old lark full of pleasant romance, some fun songs and adorable characters, making it, in my opinion, extremely easy-going, particularly if you don’t even think about the so-called sexist nature of it.
Overall, this gets a 6.9, because despite its failings in a flowing plot largely due to intrusive musical and dance numbers, this film is so light and easy, with some decent songs, that it’s simple and enjoyable to watch all the time.