AM I RIGHT?: It's a Mars or Venus thing when you talk about the 'Phantom'

Category: Phantom of the Opera Reviews | Posted by: admin
Article Date: January 7, 2005 | Publication: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Author: JORDY 'RAY' PURLKY JR., LADONNA POTTER
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SAYS HIM:

This is Ray here, to tell you I survived "The Phantom of the Opera." But man oh man, it was a close call.

"Phantom" is based on the big Broadway musical that makes ladies faint and makes the men they drag along age 10 years in two hours. I wonder how many guys have named Andrew Lloyd Webber in the divorce court as the cause of irreconcilable differences?

Now I admit musicals aren't my usual cuppa Joe. "Moulin Rouge" gave me a migraine with all those loud, hyper tools singing "The Sound of Music" and Madonna songs. But "Chicago" was OK --- it had hot women in prison and murder and cool [stuff] like that. And some of the songs were catchy.

In "Phantom," though, you have to listen to the same three Juney-spoony-swoony tunes sung over and over again while this singer chick Christine (Emmy Rossum) tries to make up her mind whether to give it up to the guy with bad acne and a Fabio shirt that lives down in the basement, or to the rich prettyboy who's got shinier hair than she does and likes to sing long, long, loooooong love songs to her on the roof.

The guy in the basement is the Phantom (Gerard Butler), and the pampered little richy is Raoul (Patrick Wilson). Every time these guys open their mouths to sing, they suck the life force straight out of your body. At least when Christine sings you can focus on her cleavage and stay half awake.

Anyway, the Phantom --- who, it turns out, was the Elephant Man when he was a little boy --- gets all broody over Raoul for macking on his girl. So he crashes a chandelier on all these innocent bystanders in the opera house --- as if that's supposed to teach RAOUL a lesson.

Oh yeah, and there's one really long scene where everybody dresses in masks and dances around like spazzes and they sing and sing and sing.

Somebody in the movie says, "Far too many notes for my taste," and that pretty much sums up the sappy, nonstop songs. There's a whole lotta music, but zero plot or logic. For instance, Christine thinks the mask-wearing Fabio guy is, like, the ghost of her musician father who taught her how to sing --- despite the fact that he also wants to sleep with her.

Yeah, you read that right. Christine is a little kooky and not real bright, and she is the exact target audience for this movie.

SAYS HER:

This is LaDonna Potter and I can hardly breathe from excitement after seeing the WONDERFUL movie "The Phantom of the Opera."

Of course, I had seen it onstage a hundred zillion times already, but I still got MAJOR goose bumps when the "Phantom" theme came on and the chandelier flew up and the movie turned to color --- though I could've done without all those statues of naked women!!!

But that is OK because there's something for the ladies to look at, and his name is Gerard Butler! Gerard Butler plays the Phantom and he wears a tiny half-mask that's a lot smaller than the one they use in the Stage version. That's OK by me because it means we get to see more of his handsome face!!!

The Phantom has taken the young opera singer Christine (Emmy Rossum) under his wing --- or should I say cape? (Ha ha!) He has taught her to sing like an angel, and he takes her into his secret Lair via pony and boat, and when she gets there, she flat-out faints from the romantic intensity of it all --- and who can blame her???

But wait, Christine is also loved by the handsome Raoul (Patrick Wilson), who is the opera's patron and rich. Who will Christine choose? The suspense is agonizing, and you will love every moment.

Luckily, in the end Christine makes the right decision and chooses the sweet, handsome and, most important of all, financially stable suitor. That means she won't have to scrimp and buy generic-brand groceries, or go through the heartache of one day finding some exotic "dancer's" thong in her husband's sock drawer then have to go through a long and loud divorce, like some of us did.

"The Phantom of the Opera" is a perfect movie for young impressionable girls who find themselves falling for the sexy bad boys of the world. It is more than just a glorious musical, it is a valuable public service announcement!

Jordy "Ray" Purlky Jr., who has a lot in common with Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and Bigfoot, brings his B-movie perspective to all kinds of flicks every Friday in Movies & More. E-mail your questions or comments to jpurlky@ajc.com. Please include your name and phone number.

Jordy "Ray" Purlky Jr. opens his mailbag and responds to his legions of fans (and a few misguided detractors) online at www .accessatlanta.com (click on Movies).