Fridge: Chicago

Fridge Brilliance
  • In the film Chicago I didn't know why Mama chose to give Roxy Billy Flynn's number. Then I recently thought about it: Billy knows there's too much publicity to get Velma off on a jury trial, so he asks Mama to find someone. He sets Roxy up as the 'sweetest little jazz killer', Velma vanishes from the papers; Billy can cut a plea-bargain for his original client. He really is the best lawyer.
  • The black woman whose husband ran into her knife ten times probably did it out of self defence. But she’s black, so she still goes to prison, natch.
    • It's always heavily implied that all of the "Cell Block Tango" soloists are guilty, with the exception of Hunyak who can't speak English. The running into the knife ten times is like saying someone fell down an elevator shaft.... onto some bullets. There is nowhere in the script that calls for June, that particular character, to be African-American. The real racism comes through with Hunyak as they don't even bother getting her a translator and condemn her to death without her own testimony (though Mama appears to make an effort to be an interpreter for her in the musical).
    • She's not in prison, she's in jail. All of them are still apparently awaiting trial or still in the trial process, and when you're awaiting trial and can't make bail, you're in jail. You go to prison if you've been tried, found guilty, and sentenced to prison.
      • In the UK, remand wings are normally part of prison sites. So in British terms, she'd be "remanded in custody".
      • And yet while the Hungarian woman was in that same prison/jail place, she was executed.
    • I doubt that stabbing a man ten (10) times counts as self-defence, black or not.
      • She mentions that he stormed into the kitchen, screaming at her "You've been screwin' the milkman!". It's never established if he was correct, but it's not hard to imagine that she may have genuinely feared for her safety at that point.
      • Also, it bears repeating that he ran into her knife blade ten times. The first maybe was accidental, the next few probably in self-defense, but 10 times just seems like she had a good rhythm going by the time she ran out of steam. Or places to put a wound.
      • You'd be surprised at how much stabbing a person can survive.
    • Two of the actual inmates in "Murderess Row" were black, so sort of Truth in Television?
  • The opening number "And All That Jazz" seems like a really cool opening number. Then you notice one of Velma's line "I'm no one's wife but, oh I love my life" seems just like a cool, feminist thing to say... until you realize she has just murdered her husband.
  • Reading Hunyak's translation from the Hungarian, she says that she doesn't know why she's in prison, and mentions her "famous lover." What if her lover's fame is what got her case attention in the first place — in this case, attention that led to her unjust execution? It would make her story a dark and complete inversion of Roxie's quest to find fame via murder.
  • In the cut song "Class", Velma and Mama are complaining that there are no decent people left. Well, there is at least one: longsuffering, faithful, selfless Amos Hart. One of the lines in that song is "there ain't no gentleman that's fit for any use." And in the introduction to "Roxie", Roxie explains that she cheated on him because he was no good in bed—as in, not fit for any use.
  • The Hunyak is played by a Russian actress, and even Hungarians have trouble understanding her bit in Cell Block Tango. It's a double Language Barrier - her own people can't understand her clearly, so how can the cops?

Fridge Horror
  • Roxie and Velma might end the show on a high note, having opened their own act, but when happens when the stock market crashes and the Depression kicks off?
    • However, they deserve it.
      • Amos doesn't! Though as a lowly mechanic who'd saved up enough to shower affection on his undeserving wife, his quality of life probably wouldn't change too badly. And with Roxie out of his life, maybe he could find a good woman deserving of his time.
      • Besides, if he's smart, he can sell off all of Roxie's mementos, leaving him better off than he was when the play started (if by no other reasoning than "he's free of Roxie for good.").
  • Throughout the film, we see musical numbers taking place on an imaginary stage in the characters' minds. At the end of the film, Velma and Roxie perform a wildly successful show to an adoring audience. But... Is that their real performance at all? Or is it their imaginations?...
    • Compare Roxie's singing in the last musical number to her singing for her audition (after the imaginary sequence). Big difference, hm?
      • Even if you look at the difference between "Nowadays" and the "Hot Honey Rag" sequence (which appear In That Order in the musical), the difference is very pronounced.
    • Personally, I always took it as real. The fantasy sequences are always made apparent within the movie if they are fantasies, and the last one seems to be very real, similar in style to "All That Jazz"- full audience, no surreal effects like having the performers completely isolated onstage or the scene just not making sense. Plus this troper just plain likes it better as a better ending, as it shows just how blind we as the public is willing to be sometimes to the reality of a celebrity's actions as long as they're still entertaining.

Fridge Logic
  • Chicago can basically be described as a film that trashes the rise and fall of stars, and the hype machine that makes them. So of course the movie won 6 academy awards. Does Hollywood recognize its own flaws, or is it actually that dumb?
    • It's called "irony at its best."
    • Not quite. Chicago's stars are "phony celebrities" who did nothing to deserve their fame and are basically a freak show. The film deserved these awards.
      • And even if it were solely dedicated to trashing Hollywood that doesn't mean that it can't still be a film worthy of winning six awards.
    • Also, Hollywood loves movies addressing how troubled fame and the stage or screen are. The Artist, Ray, The Social Network, Black Swan, King's Speech, Lincoln, Frost/Nixon, The Aviator — you'll find Sunset Boulevard on almost any list of "100 Best Films." Ironically, Hollywood's favorite subject is, in a sense, how messed up Hollywood is.
  • Anne says that the polygamist she poisoned was a Mormon, hence all the wives. Yet she also says she poisoned him by putting arsenic in his "drink" (implied to be alcoholic, so as to mask the taste). Except...Mormons aren't supposed to drink alcohol. Considering that it's only Mormon fundamentalist sects that practice polygamy, it seems a bit strange he would break that particular rule and be devout about everything else.
    • Maybe he was using his Mormonism as an excuse to have as many women as he wanted whilst ignoring the parts he didn't like?
    • Mormons also aren't supposed to commit adultery, but he was doing that as well. He was clearly not a very good Mormon.
    • You could read the line about him being Mormon as not meant to be taken literally; basically, the guy was seeing several women at the same time, so she called him a Mormon (a religion known for polygamy, at least in the past) as a sarcastic way of saying he was promiscuous.
    • Good luck finding ANY religious sect where every single member is 100% faithful to every single rule.