It's a bit embarrassing to admit I'd never seen this. I know most of the songs of course, but somehow the show has eluded me. More fool me. For the first hour-and-a-half, at least, "An American In Paris" is the perfect kind of feelgood flick. The kind that makes you perversely long for it to be over, so that you can get outside with your friends to talk about how great it was. Meanwhile, immerse yourself in the mood, because if you didn't check your cynicism in at the door, it's going to get a good kicking.
Like so many musicals, however, it slightly overstays its welcome. A bedazzling (if not always technically perfect) balletic cutaway at the climax is fine in itself, but unfortunately it entirley replaces the last act of the plot. Thus, instead of the intended romantic payoff, the final scene is left dangling as an unsatisfying non-sequitur. Shame.
A good night out, all the same. Exhilarating, inspiring, and cheering. The walk home across the iced-over park? Hmmm... less so.