Dear Alan Jay Lerner,
I just left a double feature of Gigi and An American in Paris, which has been my favorite movie since I was first introduced to it in college. I’ve seen both films so many times that I no longer recognize the moments during which you and Minnelli intended to make the audience laugh or to overwhelm our senses. Luckily, I attended tonight’s screening with a Minnelli/Lerner/Freed/Caron film virgin, so she had no idea what to expect. Registering her reactions revived my great love of both films and helped me remember how incredibly sharp your dialogue can be. Your writing befits the mixture of French and American spirits that is essential to both films. Your French characters embody the American ideals of hard work, honesty, and optimism, while your American ones lose themselves in flirting, romance, and intrigue. Your tone, plot points, and witticisms were perfect for the post-war musicals of the Golden Age and they live on to amuse and delight moviegoers today.
Good night, Mun
P.S. I’d especially like to thank you for the song “The Night They Invented Champagne.” Between you and me, I sing it in my mind every time I enjoy a glass of bubbly.