Meet Me in St. Louis is a sweet seasonal treat. When it comes to Judy Garland, her most iconic role will always be The Wizard of Oz. But Meet Me in St. Louis is a very close second. If you want Garland at the top of her musical game, look no further. She met her second husband while making it and their daughter Liza Minnelli considers it her favorite. Although labeled a Christmas movie, Meet Me in St. Louis is a year round slice of life from the perspective of the Smith family. They love their home in St. Louis and look forward to the grand opening of the 1904 World’s Fair.
The Smiths are straightlaced father Alanzo, caring mother Anna, their Grandpa, eldest son Lon, hopeless romantic Rose, musically inclined Esther, troublesome Agnes, and youngest daughter Tootie. A precocious little lady who steals many scenes thanks to Margaret O’Brien. Esther gets all the best songs and struggles with love herself. In the summer, Esther persistently tries to get her neighbor John’s attention. In autumn, Agnes & Tootie enjoy an old fashioned Halloween. I had no clue it was celebrated this far back (or that it was more about tricks than treats).
It’s at this point that the family faces the possibility of leaving their home when dad gets a job in New York. So winter is bittersweet for them. Esther, Rose, and Lon try to enjoy a ball, but it’s not till dad changes his mind that Christmas is complete. Ending with the World’s Fair in spring. The colorful Victorian style is plenty of old fashioned fun. The songs are classics that I’ve known long before I saw the film. “The Trolley Song” is a real humdinger and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is a warm festive staple. From the moment I saw Meet Me in St. Louis I fell.