Get a taste of jazz and liquor in ‘Chicago”

It appears as though musicals are trying to make a comeback, and with movies such as “Chicago,” that doesn’t seem like a bad thing at all.

The movie “Chicago” was adapted to the big screen from the 1975 Bob Fosse musical. It’s set back in the 1920s and shows a world where jazz and liquor caused nothing but problems.

Since its nation-wide release in January, “Chicago” has been doing well at the box office and is showing people that Hollywood still knows how to make a musical. It’s also been putting to rest many doubts that people had about its stars singing abilities.

“Chicago” is full of great performances, starting with that of Renee Zellweger, who plays the aspiring show business star Roxie Hart. Zellweger, who has been quoted as saying that her brother used to yell at her to shut-up when she would sing, proves her ability loud and clear. Not only did she master the role acting-wise, but Zellweger also sang and danced just as you would see on Broadway.

Catherine Zeta-Jones is another actress who shows that she can sing and dance as well as she acts. From the moment she opens her mouth as the murderess Velma Kelly to sing “And All That Jazz,” you can tell that she was the perfect person to be cast for the part.

Many moviegoers probably had doubts about Richard Gere’s ability to playing the fast-talking, tap-dancing lawyer, Billy Flynn. This may have been because few people knew that Gere, at one time, played the role of Danny in a London production of “Grease.” He nailed both the acting role and the tap-dancing, putting in an extremely memorable performance.

The supporting cast had a tendency to steal the scenes they were in with more amazing singing and acting. Queen Latifah as Matron Mama Morton and John C. Reilly as Amos Hart both deserve recognition for their parts in the film. Latifah’s powerful voice was exactly right for “When You’re Good to Mama.” It’s hard to imagine anyone doing a better job with that particular role.

Reilly’s performance came as somewhat of a surprise. Many will remember him for his part in the romantic comedy “Never Been Kissed,” where he played Drew Barrymore’s serious newsroom boss. He plays Roxie’s overlooked, yet loving, husband Amos perfectly. He even sings “Mister Cellophane” better than some of the Broadway actors who have recorded it.

Although some of the songs from the Broadway version of “Chicago” didn’t make it into the final film edit, the show is still done justice. It’s obvious that those who were involved in this production took their jobs seriously and did their best to make a great film. And, they succeeded. In fact, the film of “Chicago” may even be better than its Broadway counterpart.

If the Golden Globe Awards are any indication, “Chicago” may do well at the Oscars this year. When the Golden Globes took place in January, “Chicago” did very well with Zellweger winning for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy, Gere taking home the award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy and the movie itself being awarded Best Film – Musical or Comedy.

“Chicago” is just one of those movies that you have to see, especially if you like some of the older movie musicals and Broadway shows. You won’t be disappointed.