I have really mixed feelings about this. And they’re not positive feelings either. To be honest, I’m not liking the idea. But first of first, a little background on My Fair Lady, and how I came to love it. Two things attracted me to the 1964 version of the film: the cast, consisting of Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison as the main and unlikely couple, and Stanley Holloway, Gladys Cooper and Wilfrid Hyde-White as the supporting actors, and the fact that this film won Best Picture for the 37th Academy Awards (beating down Becket, Dr. Strangelove, Mary Poppins and Zorba the Greek in the year). I love this film. And I just can’t imagine it being remade again by today’s artists.
My Fair Lady tells the story of thick-accented Eliza Doolittle, who transformed from a flower seller girl into a duchess with the help of arrogant phonetics Professor Henry Higgins (played by Rex Harrison) and his daring friend, Pickering (played by Hyde-White). Now did you know that this film itself is actually an adaptation from a musical of the same name, which was also based on another adaptation of a stage play Pygmalion, which was created in 1938? It’s quite amusing to think that they are remaking a remake based on a musical based on another film adaptation of a very old stage play!
Anyhow, the first time I watched this, I wasn’t paying much attention, I was sleepy, there was my noisy brother hanging around and I just couldn’t concentrate, thus I often lost track of the plot and I ultimately got bored. One would think that musicals are relaxed and often have easy to understand storyline, but it's not always like that. I had to rewatch it and rewatch it and rewatch it again to really recognize the loveliness of the story, from all the singing and jolly dancing to the depth and development of each character and the theme of the film itself. It’s really a wonderful film, and I’m happy to say that I do love it, but the fact that it’s lengthy and so musical wore me off slightly - I’m not really into musicals, truthfully, and my only exception is all of the Astaire-Rogers collaboration films, because they’ve got that awesome and one-of-a-kind dance that no one should miss - and so, thinking that the original My Fair Lady is already so hard for me to digest, I ask: could a remake be successful?
I mean, Carey Mulligan is great in An Education, and she is quite an actress, but I just don’t find her that charming, you see… and to think that they need to find an actor to portray Dr. Henry Higgins! I just couldn’t see anyone but Rex Harrison as him. He won the Best Actor award anyway, beating the likes of Peter Sellers and Peter O’Toole.
But to be honest my skepticism is all due to my dislike for today’s Hollywood. The glamour Hollywood has now is very different from the old times’ glamour, and I find it very displeasing. I’m an honestly old-minded person; an old soul, and I indulge in old movies more than anything. In a more biased argumentation, I do not like 3D movies, blockbusters, and movies which focus more on typical nowaday actors and their typical typecasting than the plot development, for the reason that they don’t have that same kind of quality that old films had. And still have.
Lots of remakes don’t work out, for me anyways; Psycho, Planet of the Apes, Alfie and the Pink Panther, but then again there are the remakes of Cape Fear, Ocean’s Eleven and Scarface. Where would the 2012 My Fair Lady be placed? The successful ones or the failed ones?