Only A Day Away (Movie Thoughts: Annie)

I saw “Annie” a while back, when it first came out, and I didn’t like it. But there was already an avalanche of bad reviews about it then that I didn’t want to add to the chorus of discomforts. So I told myself I would wait a bit until writing about it, and then forgot about it altogether. But now that it is out on video, I saw it again, and wondered to myself if I would feel the same. Sadly, yes. I look at the movie as wasted opportunity. The producers – Will and Jada Smith, Jay-Z among them – had an opportunity to bring this wonderful piece to a new generation and they didn’t. It’s not that this Annie is bad – it’s respectable enough – but they managed to make it bland and boring. The musical numbers all fell flat – with weird arrangements and reconstructions. Why would you have hand choreography in the middle of “maybe?” Why would you reorchestrate “Tomorrow?” Why did you cut “N.Y.C”? These are just random questions I had while watching it. I have a strong affinity for the piece, for sure, because it is the first Broadway production I ever saw, thirty one years ago. But it is also the love for it that makes me want this piece to succeed. When I was watching the movie, I was more sad than angry, and now I feel kind of apathetic but I felt I just had to say my smal piece about it. Why can’t they get Annie right these days? The past Broadway revival was devoid of fun, and felt that they did the same here. This is a boisterous, joyous musical, and no one nowadays sees te happiness in it – and that makes me want to take a Xanax.

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