De-Lovely (2004) - Biography, Drama, Music

Hohum Score



Inspecting a magical biographical stage musical, composer Cole Porter reviews his life and career with his wife, Linda.

IMDB: 6.6
Director: Irwin Winkler
Stars: Kevin Kline, Ashley Judd
Length: 125 Minutes
PG Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 42 out of 227 found boring (18.5%)

One-line Reviews (132)

Porter (Kevin Kline), who, when the movie begins, is already established as a songwriter and occasional singer (although his singing voice isn't as good as others-Kline perfected this), at a part, falls in love with Linda (Ashley Judd, doing something more than formulaic crime thrillers).

The costumes, sets, locations were stunning and encourage a future viewing.

Cole Porter had a rich, fascinating, debonaire, ribald life.

His infectious performance is the most entertaining of the year.

But in addition to the music "De-Lovely" presents an absorbing and adult story of Porter's complex relations with his wife and his bi-sexuality, brilliantly acted by Kevin Kline and Ashley Judd, both of whom give Oscar-worthy performances.

It's the music and the essential mystery surrounding the affections of this genial genius that make De-Lovely interesting, entertaining and worth the price of admission.

Save your money.

(the CD is also enjoyable.

It left with me with an empty and confused feeling.

Kevin Kline gives a stunning performance, and Ashley Judd a near perfect one in this dramatic production chronicling the life of composer/musician Cole Porter and his wife, Linda.

The music is timeless and enjoyable even when sung in pedestrian fashion by Kline.

There is some really sloppy editing, and in general Irwin Winkler's very stylised direction becomes increasingly self-indulgent and manages to be hectic and ponderous.

After a while it gets simply tedious.

Added to this, some stunning renditions of numbers from "Anything Goes", "Kiss Me, Kate", "Night and Day" and many others.

Many of the numbers were far more enjoyable than the hyped efforts in CHICAGO and just to hear Porter's music makes it all worth while.

Ashley Judd gives a stunning portrayal of Linda Porter.

And the script is trite and sentimental and grossly incorrect.

Why waste all that money on lights and sets and actors for a scene that doesn't develop the plot at all and exists solely for the effect of controversy?!

And here's the kicker, this all happened within the first half hour of the movie, because we all walked out after that.

but theatre was practically empty @ 20 people early matinée today..Spread the word,,DeLovely is a wonderful movie going experience..Don't Miss It !!

Judd - certainly one of the most intelligent women acting today - is grippingly compelling as she progresses from divorcee to globe-trotting wife to indispensable muse to a premature death when she's racked by a progressively fatal malady.

Winkler drew ecstatically engaging portrayals from these gifted actors.

This endless supply of constantly interrupted musical numbers was tedious in the extreme, at least to me.

The two lead performances create a spark that does benefit the script and help overcome the all to frequent dull moments.

Let me "de-fine" what I really thought about this Cole Porter bio: De-isintegrating: Director Irwin Winkler's ho-hum musical scenes.

The musical numbers are fine; Kevin Kline is absolutely marvelous as Cole Porter, but when the movie becomes a biopic it becomes stagy, melodramatic and slow and the music becomes secondary, which is baffling since the movie is a musical.

The story is told ala "It's a Wonderful Life," with Jonathan Pryce as the guide who sits down with Porter in a small empty theatre and watches the chronology of his relationship with his wife and their connection to his music through a series of musical numbers which often segue into the actual movie we're watching.

DeLovely is actually 2 films at war with one another: an elegant, snappy musical versus a dull, literary biopic.

This movie was confusing.

Perhaps not exactly true to the real events in Porter's career, what we have here is such an engaging view of the time and of the way in which he careered through it that thrilling brilliance is the result.

The result is musical numbers that seem almost incidental, shoehorned into the story -- sometime rather cleverly -- but which are nonetheless surprisingly bland and uninspired.

I, myself, enjoyed it thoroughly.

Ashley Judd, playing Porter's wife is absolutely stunning.

The Worst Movie Ever Made.

Most movie musicals are flatly unbearable for two reasons: insipid writing, and usually there's a very thin connection between the musical performance and the movie itself.

If this team was intent in presenting a decent portrait of Cole Porter throughout his intense and productive career, the least they would have been able to do was to assemble singers that could sing the way the composer wrote the songs, or show some respect in the way those songs are presented on the screen.

This movie is one of the most enjoyable musicals I have ever seen.. The acting was amazing and I love the music.. Believe it or not, Both my husband and myself have seen it about 20 times.

The device of having the (apparently dead) Porter review his life as a production (ala "All That Jazz") is strained and confusing.

Although society's understanding and acceptance of gay issues in 2004 would enhance audience favor of this film, regrettably, I left the theater, unfulfilled.

Due to the gross number of inaccuracies and the change in chronological order of the songs and events makes the storytelling hard to follow.

It is so dull that at one point in I eventually burst out laughing.

Nobody ever complains about the fact that supermen, super cops and super criminals are behaving over the top and in an unrealistic way, yet pointless remarks have been made about the fact that Porter was definitely gay, not bisexual and therefore the type of marriage showed in the movie probably did not take place.

This grandly entertaining musical features Kevin Kline, in the performance of his career, as the divinely decadent Cole Porter, who was as well known for his sexual shenanigans as he was for his amazing music.

A stunning film.

It is a fascinating love story that made me laugh and made me cry.

Ashley Judd as Linda is surprisingly good and she looks stunning in the wardrobe designed for her.

A disjointed downer...

The consummate actor, he gives us a breathtaking performance; this is your first sure-fire '04 Oscar contending Best Actor nominee right here.

De-Lovely, De-Boring .

The story itself is mundane and much better done in `Carrington' which incidentally stars Pryce, the visiting angel/creator in this case.

The soundtrack to this film is enjoyable.

There is no story line, and the musical numbers could have been much better, although some of them are genuine fun (the music as such is excellent of course; I mean the interpretation).

In fact it was Ashley's dynamic performance that got me over the hump of boredom/confusion I mentioned earlier.

It barely touches the surface of what must have been a fascinating character and tries to span much too much of Cole's life without ever getting below the surface.

Most new releases in the past few years are that of tired action formulas and boring special effects extravaganzas involving comic book characters and trolls and hobbits and whatnot.

dramatically boring .

Enjoyable and sadly not a great hit on its release, it should be better known and more celebrated.

Film biographies to me, are long and tedious.

"De-Lovely," director Irwin Winkler's ode to the late composer Cole Porter (flamboyantly played by Kevin Kline), is a disastrous and deadly dull biopic that deals in caricatures, not characters, and succeeds only in distancing its audience over the course of 2 hours.

The marriage was unexpected: where Porter was clearly homosexual, Linda was uninterested in physical intimacy.

Ashley Judd provides an equally compelling performance as Linda Lee, the woman whom Cole meets and marries early in the film.

Kevin Kline is wonderful here, and Ashley Judd is charming, and the film's evocation of a creative genius who lived a jet set life during exciting times was fun.

But this was a terrible, sappy, dreary movie about partyboy Porter's supposed love life with tons of unimaginative musical numbers sung by Kevin Kline (who was too old for most of the scenes and whose non-singer's voice grows v-e-r-y weary after a while).

While it seemed, at first, to be a somewhat stiff, contrived attempt at following in "All That Jazz"'s footsteps (let's use the musical genre to tell the story about a person who's live was music and musicals), De-lovely quickly grew on me on the strength of performances and a well-written script that rather convincingly depicted a genuine love that grew between two people over many years.

In fact, many of the filming techniques are successful, and maybe it is these which save the film from having been a complete waste of time.

Cole Porter's music is anything but bland: A master at word play and bouncy melodies, his songs are crisp and sassy and naughty and ripe with innuendo, suggestion and deliciously bad puns.

Costumes and set are breathtaking.

This film has the same problem with one exception: The stuff between the music is blisteringly boring.

What a shame their performances, and even more-so the other musical numbers, are so slighted in favor of an empty story.

Self-indulgent crap .

If you're looking to hear some of Cole Porter's more engaging songs without a lot of distraction, you'd better keep seated through the final credits.

Even in its presentation of Cole's homosexuality, we are introduced to a trite parade of pretty boys; and, within this shallow presentation, we are expected to see deep, caring relationships.

) So in a way this musical is not unlike a lot of MGM's classical musicals from the thirties and forties, which always leave you wanting to fast forward though the silly plots and predictable sentimentality to get to the good stuff--Astair dancing.

The music livens up this film and makes it entertaining and bristling with joy.

I tend to find his rhymes trite, his 'sophistication' doesn't come off for me, and his melodies are too Broadway.

For the really boring beginning, I give this a 3 and a 7 for the ending scenes.

In the second half the wit and sophistication the first half had is completely lost with a lot of the writing becoming incredibly trite and awkward, Porter's sexuality is much too overt(the opposite effect of the glossed over effect Night and Day had) and the film overall is lacking in emotional connection narratively and stylistically.

I think the writer dwelt with unnecessary glee (and graphicness) on the troubles of Porter's homosexual leanings at the expense of what was otherwise a quite fascinating life.

The people behind De-Lovely are obviously very professional, and the narration idea IS interesting, but the movie remains, however, incredibly boring.

For instance, his trips to a gay bar to pick up male hustlers is accompanied by the song "Love for Sale," but mightn't it have been more intriguing if they had used "Anything Goes" or "Let's Misbehave" instead?

She is compelling as the lovely pseudowife of this gay artist who tolerates his outside activities with grace and understanding.

A musical should be upbeat; this movie is ponderous.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.

Rather boring and superficial biography.

The plot was so confusing that you felt yourself just sitting back, giving up trying to be interested in these people's lives.

Natalie Cole and Vivian Green succeed in providing legitimate and evocative performances.

It was such a compelling story.

Some of the numbers are a bit dated, but most of them simply soar, and will have you tapping your toes as you walk out of the theater--thanks in no small part to the musical cameos of Elvis Costello, Diana Krall, and Alanis Morisette.

De-Lovely was a total waste of two hours of my valuable time.

Rent "Night and Day" and save your money.

Cole Porter's music in the movie is a slow, bluesy arrangement and nothing like the upbeat, carefree way that Cole Porter wrote it.

Unfortunately, I don't think it will win any Academy Awards because the movie-going public seems to be too interested in movies that are violent or controversial (like Fahrenheit 9/11) and few people want to see a movie that is entertaining and up-lifting like this one.

Despite that, it is entertaining and worth a rental.

The "friendship" betw een Cole and Linda is uninteresting and seems actually rather shallow and silly............

The film becomes a frequently luminous and tuneful soap opera about a main character who is more pathetic than tragic, about a self-destructive songwriter who self-destructs for obvious reasons, but in a deliberate, slow, very sad and depressing manner.

" Kline's Porter is a kind of spacey, uncomplicated character who mostly goes around looking either happily bewildered when things are going well--or dull and stunned in the later scenes as his life unravels.

I confess not to be either, so the watching the whole film was quite painful for me, especially the last half hour which fell into cheap and very predictable melodic drama if this is the right term for a melodrama with music.

Porter's homosexual liaisons had to be a trifle more exciting then presented here otherwise he needn't have bothered.

Kevin Kline is a very good actor, and Cole Porter is an interesting figure, but the former's portrayal of the latter is uninspiring, pedestrian, and boring.

I was ready to leave after half an hour.

Good movie, slow pace .

I didn't pay that much attention to the story, but for the songs, this is entertaining enough.

They are, to my mind, uninspired, forgettable and dull.

" It was a refreshing treatment of a Porter standard, which, although cleverly composed and worded, had become cliché in its title and too rigidly fixed in its arrangements.

But its flashback style, using Cole Porter's ownsongs to illustrate scenes from his life, is confusing and fails to dojustice to either his songs or his life.

Instead, we get renditions of Porter's best songs in which all his snappy verses are completely obscured by dialogue.

I just watched this on DVD and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I want you to read this carefully and I want you to let it sink in: This was the worst movie I have EVER seen.

It's as if every possible cliché was thrown into an impossible to believe setting of Paris when Cole sings to Linda!

Gabe and Cole take their seats in an empty theater, where the rest of the movie plays out Porter's life on stage.

Williams grabbed the screen's attention with his catchy rendition of "De-Lovely", the performance of which was much more than mildly entertaining.

Here we only got the refrain, which is banal, as Porter knew it was.

Most of the performances of some of the 20th century's greatest popular songs are simply obnoxious or lame and the arrangements are very bland or totally inappropriate.

The other solos were also original and tasteful, and the chorus numbers--like "Be A Clown" and the rousing finale, "Blow Gabriel Blow"--are what musicals are all about.

But it's worth watching and highly entertaining.

The real problem with DE-LOVELY, at least to my mind, is two-fold: it is just ever-so-slightly slow and it is profoundly, and I do mean profoundly, depressing.

"De-Lovely" is an expansive, enveloping, highly engaging salute to the life of Cole Porter.

I'd rather watch an empty cardboard box sit on the floor for two hours than to watch Kevin Kline.

It's an entertaining two hours at that.

The ending dragged, and the film would have benefited by having 10-15 minutes pruned from it.

As a child of the '30s, I was immersed in Hollywood musicals I bit more than I appreciated.

Mayer's ear, a completely pointless and insulting scene.

It's de-ceptive, de-constructive and de-pointless.

Worth watching!

", slow pacing, an unlikeable protagonist.

It was a wonderfully entertaining film.

It has a wonderful and engaging cast, especially Kevin Kline as the American composer and songwriter Cole Porter.

Ashley Judd once showed us a bit of retro verve in her riveting tango with Selma Hayek in `Frida'.

This movie alternates among being stupefyingly inaccurate in its history and design, self-loathing in its queerness, deadly dull in its pacing and terrible dialogue, and insulting in its low concept for a movie.

I believe they are the reason I enjoyed it so very much.

A stunning film.

Plus it's been done so many times before that it's trite.