Although inspired by the Hollywood musical, Jacques Demy's vibrant, inventive film forgoes the familiar backdrop of a Broadway show or movie premiere to revel instead in the myth and magic of everyday romance, in all its sentimental and banal glory. Not quite a musical or an operetta,
THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG is, as Demy has described it, "a film in color and song." What separates it from the Hollywood musical is Demy and composer Michel Legrand's decision to deliver all the dialogue--every last meaningless word--in song form. Divided into three acts--Departure, Absence,
Return--and set in Cherbourg on the coast of Normandy, the film begins with the blossoming ro...