Jokes and Sass

The Sound of Music (1965) is great and some people are wrong

February 7, 2021

“some people” here is playing the role of “my husband”

No, I didn’t just write this to dunk on him, but I wrote it a little to dunk on him. He’s wonderful but, like us all, is flawed, and one of his flaws is not liking The Sound of Music (1965).

This post is in honor of Christopher Plummer, of course.

And in all seriousness, The Sound of Music is phenomenal. Fight me. Okay, don’t fight me, because I’m conflict-averse and have very weak arms, but also this opinion is right.

Christopher Plummer, may his memory be a blessing, is perfection in his role as Captain Georg von Trapp. The small facial expressions, whether they are a smile or a frown or an exhausted sigh or the smirk you give a Nazi sympathizer when you’ve eviscerated him at a fancy ball, are all diamond-encrusted acting of the highest caliber and that image of him tearing up the flag gives me more patriotic zeal than our national anthem. Watching him fall in love with Julie Andrews is pure, unadulterated delight.

And Julie Andrews? Don’t talk to me? Like??? This woman could do nothing mediocre and every moment she is on screen is a ray of sunshine to which I am not entitled but for which I am eternally grateful. This woman sings a song titled “I Have Confidence” while strolling down a rich dude’s driveway swinging suitcases and my depressive self somehow doesn’t hate it even a little??? What magic do you weave, Fraulein?

And the kids??? How are these precocious little nightmares all universally adorable and talented? Who cares? They all are great and in tune and look excellent in clothes made of draperies and “oh that isn’t realistic”? Go walk into the Volga or whatever river that is that they all fall into all cute-like. This movie gives us 7 children from ages 5 to 16 and they are not insufferable nor are they interchangeable and this is a miracle but because it is The Sound of Music it is also to be expected because everything this movie does is perfect even when the nuns are sassy to Maria.

SPEAKING OF WHICH. THIS MOVIE. This movie has a bunch of nuns singing a diss track about JULIE ANDREWS and it works. Do you know how difficult that is? Like this group of nuns set up a roast of 1960s Julie Andrews who is like if an angel were somehow more of an angel and it still hits. They call her a clown and you’re like “ha, yeah, fair, she did just get lost in the hills instead of doing chores what a goof” instead of “HOW DARE YOU COME FOR JULIE ANDREWS” because they love her and that’s how you do a good roast, you know your subject. And then they use the song AS SHE WALKS DOWN THE AISLE GO OFFFFFF

Even the smaller characters are perfect! The Reverend Mother has perfect Old Lady Energy and a perfect solo and you can’t come for “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” if you’ve never caught yourself humming it while doing a chore you hate like “existing while not watching The Sound of Music” (it’s also really good for parody songs). You’ve got Max, who is sassy and a perfect foil for the Captain, because who else is gonna give him a hard time? And you’ve got the Baroness, who possibly invented beauty and bows out gracefully in the face of true love and gives us the iconic “or at least needs my money desperately” line.

And the kids! The KIDS! Liesl being 16 and having a song that is one of the biggest *WINK*s in musical and cinematic history and she sings the song with a Not Good Youth and we are still like “look how cute these two kids are” which is just a remarkable thing. The parade of children into Maria’s room during the thunderstorm is the most adorable parade ever captured and Friedrich and Kurt running in like “oh we’re not scared just uh checking on the girls just kidding sing to us Ms. Andrews please”??? When you’re watching as a child??? Find me a more relatable scene, I dare you.

And the MUSIC! You currently have at least one song on loop in your head as you’re reading this, because the songs are earworms that are actually earcaterpillars that become earbutterflies and fly off into the joyous feel of sunshine on your face on the first warm day of spring. There’s a whole song about solfege and it legitimately opens “let’s start at the very beginning/a very good place to start” and we love it and have no problem with it because it’s catchy and you’re learning and it’s Julie. The opener I’m not even going to talk about because watching the zoom into Maria on the hill is like how I imagine jumping off a cliff into a hug must feel, and then we get to go pretty quickly into the aforementioned diss track. “My Favorite Things” is a bop and you know it. And “So Long, Farewell” also goes in the camp of “I cannot believe they made a song about something this simple that works this well”; it’s literally a bunch of kids going to bed and you’re sitting there doing the choreography (which is just waving) before you realize it.

And the slower and softer songs? Just let me lie down for a year because oh my God they’re perfect. “Something Good” is an objectively perfect love song and especially for a former nun and the concept of trying to explain to someone that you don’t deserve them in song is EXTREMELY RELATABLE DON’T ACT LIKE IT ISN’T. And “Edelweiss”? Try to listen to the reprise when he’s singing to like, Austria, and gets choked up, and try to not get choked up yourself, trick question, trick statement, you can’t, you’ll get sad, and that’s good and fine because BLESS MY HOMELAND FOR. EV. ER.

The movie is funny; the moment where Plummer accidentally calls her “Captain” is just about the best “oh I would do anything to take back what just came out of my mouth” moment on Earth, and the Captain dunking on his kids who can’t lie about berries well enough to save themselves is *chef’s kiss* the best. The movie is romantic; the Captain and Maria performing the Landler is a masterclass in romantic tension. The movie is triumphant; seeing the nuns pull out the car parts for the Nazi cars is basically the happiest I ever was watching a movie as a kid. This movie is the best, and it is not too long, okay, I hear you, and you can shush.

The hills are alive with the sound of my being right.

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