Musing: Annie (2014) Was a Hot Auto Tuned Mess.



Look at the “kill me” look on the dog’s face. That was me during the musical numbers. You couldn’t pay me to get this soundtrack.

Maybe it’s because I’m getting hitched at the end of the month but I’ve been on a family movie streak of late.  One of which was the new version of Annie released to theaters.  I had a post referring to this movie’s relevance in the plights of modern foster children.

It’s been a while since I’ve been so frustrated with a movie and for all the wrong reasons.  When it comes down to it, the movie was ruined for my by auto-tuning.

Why is it that people think auto-tuning is a cure all for music?  I flinched—actually flinched—every time a note was corrected digitally.  It’s that obvious to my ear.

My fiancé offered to turn it off as she could see the pain on my face.  Yes, it was that bad.  I would have preferred listening to little (Foster Girl) Annie butcher notes naturally than the mechanical monstrosity they inflicted upon us.

That’s not to say the movie was terrible, it was actually as cute as I expected it to be.  They poured a lot of modern New York flair into it (though I’m no expert in the city) and I liked Benjamin Stacks as a character.  He had appropriate depth and turning him into a cellphone mogul just works.

What didn’t work was Miss Hannigan.  The movie is almost self-aware of how bad she is and the irony of Cameron Diaz playing a washed up actress wasn’t lost on me.  Honestly, if they put the movie’s cast through voice coaching it would have helped… a lot.

I really wanted to like it and ultimately it made me hate it more.  You cannot have a musical filled with people that can’t sing—period.  Having real singers fill in with the cast lip synching would have been less jarring.

I jokingly said Annie would breed a new generation of little girls screeching ‘Tomorrow’ off key, but a part of me wishes that could be the case.  That’s part of the appeal of Annie after all and I wished they’d gotten the most important part of the source material right—something that has nothing to do with the skin and hair color of the titular heroine.




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