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The Britney Spears Pepsi Commercial Where She Praises Italian Cinema

By Miscellaneous | Miscellaneous | November 17, 2009 |

By Miscellaneous | Miscellaneous | November 17, 2009 |

As a fan of both musicals and Fellini’s 8 1/2, I’m looking forward to Nine more than the average bear. But if anything is going to keep me from buying tickets on opening night it’s the latest trailer for the Rob Marshall-directed song & dance spectacular, which spotlights Kate Hudson singing about her love for Italian neorealist cinema, especially the work of some dude named Guido (that’s Daniel Day-Lewis’ character).

While the first spot features a great tune — despite it being sung by Fergie — originating from the stage version, this new trailer, with its track written specifically for the film (and Oscar consideration), is clearly the one geared to a more mainstream audience. The kind that buys Pepsi because Britney Spears and Beyonce hawk it with flashy choreography and a compromised pop song. (Or, maybe I’m thinking of a perfume or diamonds ad, but you get my point.)

Of course, Kate Hudson is no Britney nor Beyonce, and Italian cinema doesn’t taste as good to mainstream audiences as Pepsi does. Meanwhile, even the non-mainstream movie fans who write on movie blogs are turned off by this commercial disguised as a music video disguised as a movie trailer.

Believe me, I would love it if a true mainstream pop star had a hit song that turned kids on to Fellini, De Sica, etc. (as long as they didn’t crowd the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s current Italian neorealism retrospective with their text messaging and tweeting). But this trailer and its song really rub me the wrong way.

Here’s what the rest of the film blogosphere has to say:

  • Craig Kennedy at Living in Cinema:
    I don’t know jack about the musical other than that it’s based on Fellini’s 8 1/2, but I hate this song. I think it’s the first thing I’ve seen or heard about Nine that I haven’t liked.
  • Lindsay Robertson at Vulture:
    We know we’re in the unimaginative, ungenerous, musical-hating minority here, but this just looks like a big ol’ boring mess to us. Also, a music video in an alternate universe where Kate Hudson is a pop star who loves Italian cinema. Or a really expensive perfume commercial. You be the judge.
  • Jessica Barnes at Cinematical:
    Hudson’s number, titled Cinema Italiano, was not in the original musical, which is maybe why it stands out so much, and according to the early review, her role is a little weak overall. So while I may get that the purpose of Hudson’s number in the film seems to be there to contrast bright shiny (and sometimes blind) American optimism against all that old world gloom and doom, and she does performs it perfectly, maybe it just wasn’t the best choice for a new trailer.
  • Steve Pond at TheWrap:
    Kate Hudson has enough voice for this type of performance - which is, let’s face it, more about attitude than melody. As for the song, I think it’s got a nice seductive build-up at the beginning, but when it hits the chorus it just doesn’t deliver; instead, it just kind of flails around for a while. I just hope the movie has something to deliver beyond the old razzle-dazzle.
  • Guy Lodge at In Contention:
    The song “Cinema Italiano,” by the way, is one of the film’s original compositions vying for Oscar glory. Based on this snippet, I think some melody wouldn’t have gone amiss. But that’s me.
  • Vince Mancini at FilmDrunk:
    Really, Kate Hudson singing a song on a catwalk, that’s your Oscar pick?   Does this not feel like a commercial to anyone else?  You can try to sexy it up all you want, but I kept expecting Maria Sharapova’s dog to show up.  Oh Daniel Day-Lewis, first a bum foot, now jazz hands.  Will you ever stop faking disabilities for attention? Keep this up and we might have to date.
  • The Playlist:
    It’s not that she sounds bad, it’s that she just sounds a little soullessly perfect, which is what happens when vocals are autotuned to death.

    Still style-wise? The film looks nonpareil. The tune does seems a little corny, but the cinematography, mood and atmosphere look top notch. Let’s hope it can translate into something that also has substance though and not the empty dazzle-pageantry that was “Dream Girls.”

  • Gregory Ellwood at HitFix:
    Have to say, while it may not make a lot of sense in the context of the movie it’s a lot more impressive below than it was in the cut down version on Entertainment Tonight. Can anyone remember the last time Kate Hudson looked like she was having so much fun on the big screen? See for yourself below. [This will most likely be in front of “The Twilight  Saga: New Moon” this weekend.  Wonder what the kiddies will think?]
  • Neil Miller at Film School Rejects:
    As Kate Hudson sings ‘Cinema Italiano,’ croons about Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis) and is cut into a montage of scenes filled with lingerie-clad vixens such as Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman and Stacy ‘Fergie’ Ferguson. It is enough to make us wonder just who their trying to attract to theaters on this one — because we’ve now got a beat on a new demographic who might be interested, men with a pulse.
  • Matt Goldberg at Collider:
    I will say this for Nine’s new trailer: it’s gutsy as hell.  This flick is one of the hardest sells of the year because unlike director Rob Marshall’s previous film musical, Chicago, Nine is not an easy to digest fame-at-any-cost story.  The source material is Frederico Fellini’s 8 ½, the story of a famous film director (Daniel Day Lewis) who comes to a crisis both in his creative life and in his personal life as he tries to cope with his numerous female relationships.  But like the previous trailer, this new one tells you none of that and just gives you a spectacular musical number featuring Kate Hudson and montage of all the main characters in the movie.
  • Katey Rich at Cinema Blend:
    The song itself isn’t all that special, but the visuals! The glitter! Daniel Day-Lewis in dark sunglasses! I am more than sold.
  • Tom O’Neil at The Envelope:
    Another possible best song nominee could be the new tune “Cinema Italiano,” penned by Tony winner Maury Yeston for “Nine” and sung and danced by Kate Hudson. As Yeston explained to Harry Haun of Playbill, “Kate as a Vogue reporter — American to the core, seduced and enchanted by Guido’s work, by his style, by his world — can educate contemporary audiences about this era while celebrating the 1960s. She can tell us everything about what Italian movies meant to the world at that time by singing ‘Cinema Italiano,’ a production number in which I could pull out all the stops, characterize her, entertain and, at the same time, depict this whole world that we’re talking about.”

Pajiba After Dark 11/17/09 | Sweet Home, Alabama