De-Lovely is De-Lovely

Anything Goes with Cole Porter.

By Eric E. T. Dieckman

In Cole Porter's marriage, he gave his days to his wife, but the nights...

How fitting that the same month Anything Goes tromps the boards in town, the story of its author’s life becomes available on DVD. Whether in Hollywood, in the limelight of Broadway, floating through the canals of Venice, or romancing Paris, Cole and his wife Linda led wildly unconventional lives filled with glamour, yet their marriage was not without complications.

Kevin Kline stars as Cole Porter with Ashley Judd as his wife, Linda Lee Porter, the muse who inspired some of the greatest songs of the 20th century. A selection of his classics is performed onscreen by Sheryl Crow, Elvis Costello, Alanis Morissette, Diana Krall, Natalie Cole, and Robbie Williams.

Porter looks back on his life as if it were one of his spectacular stage shows, with the people and events of his life becoming the actors and action onstage. Porter’s bisexuality does not go untold. While courting Linda, he declares, “”You know that I have other interests,” namely men.” She addresses it later, saying warmly, “”You don’t have to love me the way I love you.”.” The movie suggests he was more gay than bi, with examples like the couple sleeping in different bedrooms even during their happy times and his mix of unease and willingness at fathering a child with Linda. His “anything-goes” lifestyle, entertaining hordes of men poolside while composing songs, pushes Linda to leave Cole in Hollywood while she takes residence in Arizona.

The 2004 film was directed by Irwin Winkler. From MGM Home Entertainment (


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