A friend of my sister's (who I've never actually met) said that the old movie South Pacific was really really great. As great as the Sound of Music and he didn't understand why more people didn't know this. It's even Rogers and Hammerstein!
So I ordered it from Netflix. A friend came over and we watched it. Now granted, we were playing with my 13 month old for the first hour of the show. But soon after the baby went to bed, we were laughing hysterically for all the wrong reasons. We had trouble following it while the baby was up because we couldn't understand the words of the songs very well. When a very large number of people are singing, the singers have to make a conscious effort to enunciate or it all just sounds like a great tune with mush for words. The first couple songs on the beach with a huge group of men (with bare, spindly hairless chests!) were great tunes of mush.
Maybe the 54 year time gap was to blame, but we had a hard time following the plot. There were lots of things that it seemed like we should have known what was going on, but they never actually said. Several times, when one character was asking another something like, "but honey, what's wrong?" we were thinking the same thing. And they never actually said. Finally, when they got to the song about "you're not born with this idea, you're taught to hate" we finally figured out that the whole movie was about overcoming racism. She couldn't hack it that he had Asian kids.
Things we thought were funny/mysterious which were not meant to be funny/mysterious:
The large tattoo of the of the ship on the one guy's belly was mysteriously missing for most of the scenes when he was in the yellow inflatable boat.
What's the deal with having an unbuttoned shirt tucked into your pants?
Why was ship-tattoo guy on the plane with the hole it it that he had to bail out of?
Why were there no permanent dwellings in the whole movie?
Is it really that common to use a tree with swinging grass doors as a shower in the South Pacific?
Why did some guy retrieve dinner mints out of a man's coconut bra at the end of the folly's show?
Why was it no big deal to be shot in the butt with a six inch long dart?
When Bob tells his sweet young thing that he can't marry her, why does he seem like the resulting drama with watch flinging has nothing to do with him? And what's up with the watch flinging?
What's with the finger-puppets song that the sweet young thing signs to Bob while her mother (who is partially bald with an extremely tight bun) sings?
The "French" plantation owner with the Asian kids is oddly multi-cultural - not merely "worldy" as the Netflix blurb says. He has an Itallian or South American name, an Italian accent, speaks "French" to his children who sometimes answer in Spanglish. ("no comprenno" seems a lot like Spanish, but not quite, and certainly isn't French.) The French guy seems to "lik-a da pasta" and have an accent like that. He typically calls one guy "my frien-da Bob". Why is that French?
Why do clothes washing machines live on the beach within about 10 feet of the surf?
What the shmo was the super duper secret mission?!
Maybe we'd understand it more if we were Asian. Or were 75 and remembered that time. We had a really good time for some really wrong reasons. ("Wow, look, another unappealing shirtless man!") We really thought we would enjoy a Family Guy version of South Pacific.