A matchmaker schemes her way into fixing up a millionaire,
his niece, and his two clerks with their partners.
Hello, Dolly! (1969)
Directed by Gene Kelly
Written by Ernest Lehman
Starring Barbra Streisand, Walter Matthau, Michael Crawford, Marianne McAndrew, Danny Lockin, Tommy Tune,
Joyce Ames, E.J. Peaker
Based on the stage play by Jerry Herman
Oscar Wins - Best Art Direction, Best Sound, Best Original Score (Lennie Hayton and Lionel Newman)
Oscar Nominations - Best Picture, Best Cinematography,
Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing
Thanks to an overinflated budget, the animosity between Barbra Streisand and Walter Matthau, and Gene Kelly's ego, Hello, Dolly! was a colossal box office failure and is credited with ending the reign of the big budget Hollywood musical. I personally think that limiting musicals to an occasional release is a good thing, and despite its failure, Hello, Dolly! was nominated for seven Oscars, winning three. And it's not a bad movie. It's entertaining, well-acted, and very cute. I'm not usually into pre-1970's Hollywood musicals, but this one is a decent watch.
Meet Dolly Levi (Streisand). She's a widow and a matchmaker, who is looking to win the heart of the cantankerous but rich Horace Vandergelder (Matthau). Horace is cold and stingy, and in order to make him notice her, Dolly fixes up everyone around him to show him the power of love. The songs are catchy and cute, and Barbra Streisand does a great job making Dolly likable and fun to root for. Walter Matthau does a great job playing an angry, bitter old man, which has always been his bread and butter anyway.
Overall, Hello, Dolly! is a fun watch for the whole family. The runtime is a bit bloated, but the characters are all intriguing and likable. And ultimately, it's a send-off to the grandiose musicals of Hollywood past. Granted, that wasn't its intention, but it worked out nonetheless. It's definitely not worth the 43% Rotten Tomatoes score it currently hold. It's better than that.