G. Tracy Meehan III has provided a very nice appreciation of the 1944 MGM musical Meet Me in St. Louis, directed by Vincente Minnelli, over at National Review Online. The film features a fine performance by Judy Garland and demonstrates how a good movie can deal with interesting issues in a sophisticated way without becoming the slightest bit didactic. The situation—a turn-of-the-last-century family facing the various little crises that arise in life, along with one major one—might not seem to be the stuff of great drama, but the observant screenplay by Irving Brecher and Fred Finklehoffe and sensitive realization by Vincente Minnelli enable the viewer to understand and feel the full importance of the issues the family members face and the fact that these seemingly little things are what life is really all about.
Set aside a couple of hours for it, and you will be refreshed and inspired. It's that good.