Cinema: Updated & Downgraded

When the Boys Meet the Girls was snazzy back in 1943, when young Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney socked it across as a prime-quality MGM musical called Girl Crazy. Mickey was the Eastern playboy packed West to buckle down at Cody College, and Judy made extracurricular magic from such Gershwin standards as Embraceable You, Bidin' My Time, and I Got Rhythm.

In this remake, MGM cooks the goose that laid the golden egg. Rarely have so many charmless performers been assembled. Zing, freshness, warmth, humor and yay-team vitality have been banished—presumably to please a new generation that will never know what it...

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