Reiner scripted this musical after seeing Robert Lindsay's acclaimed stage performance in Me and My Girl. Such is the apparent admiration, all perspective has been lost. Details from Lindsay's own life are loosely incorporated into the plot, which becomes progressively inflated and thus - paradoxically - a thoroughly inadequate showcase for the star's more intimate style. Striking miner Bert Rigby (Lindsay) enlivens his humdrum life with impersonations of Kelly and Astaire. When an amateur talent show comes to town, Bert's bungled rendition of 'Isn't It Romantic' proves a huge hit, and sets the chirpy singer-dancer on the road to Hollywood. Stock characters litter his progress: manipulative agent (Coltrane), producer's frustrated wife (Bancroft), pretentious TV commercials director (Kirby), egocentric movie star (Bernsen). Certainly the performances aren't at fault, but it's difficult to imagine what sort of audience has been targeted for this bizarre hybrid of cinematic styles. One thing's for sure: a musical it ain't. Even the numbers reviving Cole Porter, Noël Coward and Irving Berlin fail to light up the screen; along with the star, they're hopelessly misused.
Bert Rigby, You're a Fool
Cast and crew