Imagine an episode of Glee that has a different cast, is filmed in French, and instead of a school the setting is a Broadway style show. That is basically what the foreign movie Alive is. Richard Anconina plays Alex Meyer, a producer of live musicals who has not had a hit in years. Unable to find backing for his new project, a musical called Alive, he winds up putting the show together on his own. Teaming up with a composer named Mathieu ( played by actual French rock star Maxim Nucci ) the lyrics are written and the singers and dancers are cast, all the time Alex’s life falling apart as his wife threatens to leave him. ( NOTE: Alex’s wife is played by Valeria Golino who briefly had a career in Hollywood pictures in the ’80s and ’90s in films such as Rain Man and Hot Shots. She was also in two movies reviewed for the Latex Movie Review, Leaving Las Vegas and Four Rooms, although in each film her role did not involve her wearing anything worth mentioning here. ) Somehow Alex is able to raise the money for costumes and book a theater, as well as build a stage set that can simulate a rainstorm, and the musical makes it to preview.
Alive is basically a formula picture that may not be worth having to put up with the subtitles to watch. On the plus side the music is pleasant as are the performances. If you are in to potboiler musical films like Flashdance and do not mind the foreign language then you would probably like this movie. At 1 hour 17 minutes Alive is amazingly short. I was surprised when the musical the cast was practicing for began only about an hour into the movie. The show itself is abbreviated. After the first number the rest of the show is shown in highlights, showing only a few seconds of a musical number before fading to the next one. And then Alex’s wife shows up and reconciles, bringing the subplot to a sudden end along with the film.
Fabienne Darnaud is the lead singer in the stage show. For the opening number she wears a black vinyl raincoat, and can be seen wearing it beginning at 1 hour 7 minutes backstage just before the stage show begins. But it is the opening number that makes this movie worth seeking. Fabienne is joined by the other female cast members who are all wearing clear plastic raincoats with stringy black bikini tops and skirt bottoms underneath. Artificial rain pours down from the ceiling above the stage and onto the girls as they sing, the water being an extra element that adds more sex appeal to the scene. The only other outfits worth mentioning occur at 1 hour 11 minutes, black rhinestone covered bustiers worn by the girls in the cast during one of the songs. The male cast members wear what looks like a vinyl or latex wrap skirt during one of the numbers, and for a split second it looked as if the female cast members had the same outfits on, but once there is a proper long shot you can see the female cast members with a different costume.