Took Mini Me to see Annie today. Girls of my age in our youth walked around belting out Its a Hard Knock Life and Tomorrow. The original 70’s Broadway show featured the red headed Annie (Little Orphan) who ends up with millionaire Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks. Annie lives in an orphanage with caretaker and adult beverage loving Mrs. Hannigan and after spending time with Daddy Warbucks, wins his heart over. Jealous of Annie’s good fortune with Daddy Warbucks, Hannigan schemes with her brother to fake Annie’s parents for the reward money so she cannot be adopted. I loved seeing the stage show when it came to Atlanta several times with the family – it had something for all and some catchy tunes. We all loved it.
Fast forward to 2014 version of Annie. Annie is now a foster kid living with Miss Colleen Hannigan and a few other fosters. Hannigan only keeps the girls for the monthly checks since her singing career didn’t pan out and yes, she still loves the bottle. The rich guy is now a tycoon named Stacks who is running for Mayor. He saves Annie from getting hit by a truck and his people decide its a good PR move to have her come have lunch and then stay with him. While a little different than the original version, its stays true to the messages and general plot.
My thoughts on the 2014 version:
- Loved the overture during opening credits, really took me back to seeing the play and movie with my family. Those songs from youth sure stay with ya you know?
- I liked the updated storylines: Foster Kid Annie versus orphan and Stacks the phone mogel moderned up the story. Grace is now one of Stacks most trusted business advisers, and not his assistant as in the original show, but hey that was back in the 30’s.
- Most the original songs worked with the updated sound but I did not like how they reworked performed Easy Street. It seemed like it was just thrown in there. In the play, its a show stopper, and was my dad’s favorite song in the show.
- I missed the song NYC, “What is it about you? You’re big. You’re loud. You’re tough” Truly a love song about one of the greatest cities in the world and sharing the love of the city with Annie who lived there all her life and never saw most of it. The new song, “The City’s Yours” however was touching as Stacks showed Annie the city from corporate helicopter and encouraging her in her future. I think NYC was a bigger Broadway show style number and I just like it better than the new song.
- New York City. OK, the song was missing, but the film showcased NYC, from Uptown, Midtown, bridges, monuments, museums…..I haven’t been there in a while, and I found it calling me back.
- The diverse cast was perfect with great singing. Each character had a bit of quirkiness which made them likeable, fun and human. This Annie was super spunky and cute, embodied the spirit of the comic, stage show and older film. Cameron Diaz surprised me with her showmanship, loved her Miss Hannigan.
- My favorite number was “I think I’m Gonna Like It Here”. Stacks Penthouse is amazing and while in the original version servants, Annie and Grace sang this together, this version all about Annie and Grace bonding as they danced throughout the apartment, loved the dancing on a table on the terrace.
- Its nice the story included WHY Stacks and Hannigan are the way they are when we first see them.
- The messages of this film hold true today. Stay optimistic, be positive. People may not be what they seem, both for the good and bad. Everyone has a story, accept them for it. People can change. Good points of discussion after the movie with my daughter and her friend.
- It will be interesting to see how long it will take this modern version ripe with social media references and selfies to look dated. References of twitter and instagram…thing of how 10 years from now we might be laughing at this prevalent part of life today.
Mini Me age 8 and I saw this with a friend of hers. We we all loved it. Nice family movie though rated PG for mild language (I heard and adult character say “What The HELL?????” and humor (Stacks takes Miss Hannigan for a hooker when she approaches his car). Yeah, some might not like that, but its all I could think of as to why its PG13. We laughed and liked the characters.
Is this an important film….no, its a fun movie. I don’t understand why so many critics have panned it. I am glad I ignored the low ratings and decided to enjoyed scenic NYC on the big screen. Jamie Foxx was wonderful too…that man is so talented, he can be serious, funny, sing….you name it. Mini Me has been won over as an Annie fan, which makes me happy as we can enjoy for years together like I did with my parents.
Have you seen Annie or are you planning too? What is your favorite Annie Song?
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