De-Lovely is an Unconventional Love Story

De-Lovely, the recent movie about the life and times of the songwriter, Cole Porter, is a love story. Not a conventional love story, by any means, but a love story all the same.

Set among the privileged set of the 1930s and 1940s, De-Lovely takes us to Venice, Paris, Broadway, and Hollywood in a musical retrospective of Mr. Porter’s life, guided by an ambiguous, angel/devil character, expertly played by Jonathan Pryce.

The movie begins when Porter, played by Oscar winner, Kevin Kline, meets his future wife, the beautiful, American divorcee, Linda Lee, played by Ashley Judd. Even though his preference is clearly for men, Porter is smitten with Linda. He woos and weds her, and they begin a strangely wonderful, often tumultuous life together.

We see Porter as he grows from a social piano player, entertaining his friends at parties, to a world-renowned composer, Broadway producer, and MGM songwriter.

Cole Porter’s songs and lyrics are still widely popular. His way of combining a simple tune with clever lyrics and expert phrasing was genius. Listen to “Anything Goes,” “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “Night and Day,” or “Begin the Beguine.”

One of the most enjoyable parts of this film is how it incorporates Cole Porter’s music into the story. Performances by such artists as Natalie Cole, Elvis Costello, Diana Krall, and Sheryl Crow are woven into the story line.

An enjoyable, poignant, musical memoir, De-Lovely is well worth watching.

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