Every ten years, Sight & Sound conducts a poll for the greatest films of all time. For the 2012 edition, 846…
Love in the Afternoon
Love is a game any number can play... especially in the afternoon...
A middle-aged playboy is fascinated by the daughter of a private detective who has been hired to entrap him.
Audrey Hepburn's student cellist lives vicariously through her private detective father's files on jet setting adulterers and manages to get herself involved in aging lothario Gary Cooper's parisian affairs.
Hepburn is 28 playing a music student who lives at home with her dad and has never been in love, Cooper is 56 but looks older, their first interaction deals with the age appropriate questions that put me off watching this film for a long time and from that point onward we are in fantasyland, 30s Paramount Paris, and I'm glad I finally made the effort to see it even if it needed someone on here on the watchlist challenge to push me towards it.
It is, we are told, Wilder's…
I could have filled the review section of this movie with "Audrey Hepburn! Audrey Hepburn!" and be done with it.
Seriously though, I argue against myself hard on the scoring of this one: there is no reason why a Lubitsch-style rom-com should be over 2 hours, Gary Cooper gives a very good performance but still feels slightly miscast, the weird age difference, etc. But it all comes down to two questions: Can you believe an innocent girl (with access to her detective father's tawdry files) can fool a seasoned playboy as being a sophisticated femme fatale type? And can such a seasoned and older playboy fall for this girl? With the luminous Audrey Hepburn in the role, both are successfully…
Ariane Chavasse: "I'm against violence. In my opinion, there's too much shooting in the world, and not enough love."
Frank Flannagan: "How's that, again?"
Ariane Chavasse: "I mean, if people loved each other more, they'd shoot each other less!"
One of three Billy Wilder films released in 1957, I'd rank Love in the Afternoon right in the middle out of the three (the other two being The Spirit of St. Louis and Witness for the Prosecution). This one has some great Wilder dialogue and overall it just feels like one of his films. Audrey Hepburn is wonderful as always and Gary Cooper is good too. Maurice Chevalier was pretty hilarious in his role. Love in the Afternoon starts off very strong, but in my opinion loses its footing a bit in the second half. The very last scene was perfect though. Wilder fans should check this one out for sure. 7.5/10
Unfortunately my dvr didn't catch more than 1:30 of this film, so I have no clue how it ends, but the bit I did see was ok.
The person who introduced the film mentioned that it was Wilder's first light film or comedy after making serious dramas such as Sunset Boulevard, Ace in the Hole and The Spirit of St. Louis. IMDB lists Sabrina as being prior to this so I'm not sure how it can be his first comedy. Maybe he meant that Wilder needed to make a comedy after The Spirit of St. Louis which apparently had been a nightmare to make.
Love in the Afternoon was heavily censured when it came out because of the age difference…
Wilder is one of my favorite directors.
I've seen The Apartment a dozen or more times.
Yet a few of his titles have eluded me.
Ace in the Hole was one I only discovered in 2013.
And now Love in the Afternoon.
Not among the greatest of Wilder's films. But his greatness is felt all over this film. From its leads (Cooper, Hepburn, and Chevalier) to its humor (the French jokes, the gypsy band...). Skillful screenplay by Wilder and his scribe IAL Diamond. Funnily enough, in this one, things work out very differently than they do in The Apartment (older man and younger woman-wise).
Not a great film, but I think that without having made this film, they could have never attained the heights of The Apartment three years later.
An incredibly charming romantic comedy, something that Billy Wilder always seems to get right. Maurice Chevalier gets third billing, but is undoubtedly the star, he is both hilarious, charming and warm, so much that you kinda' wish he was an uncle of yours. He's simply splendid as the father of Ariane, played by Audrey Hepburn, who herself is simply delightful as always.
Gary Cooper looks far to old to be Hepburn's lover, however, so much that when she claims how handsome he is, all I can do is raise my eyebrows. I mean, sure, he was a stud back in the 30's and 40's, but the man was 58 years old when this film was made. A little too wacky for my taste.
Can I just give this 5 stars for Audrey Hepburn, though?
It's overlong and Gary Cooper is miscast as a Lothario, plus he looks old, he moves stiffly and there are liver spots on his hands. When he kisses his young star I didn't go, "Aww, isn't that sweet." I went "EW, Grandpa NO!" Cooper was a wooden actor, and better for folksy types, Cary Grant was also older, but still spry and sexy and could have done this role in his sleep (but he turned it down, as he did "Sabrina"... he always turned down Billy Wilder films. No one knows why) Still it has its charms and Audrey and Maurice Chevalier (playing her Private Eye father) are outstanding in this Lubitsch-style rom-com. I like it despite the flaws.
A fun and charming 1950s comedy that could have been a classic like Roman Holiday except for one flaw: Gary Cooper just wasn't right for the part. First off, his character is a womanizing jerk, and they needed an actor who was both extremely charming and a little bit vulnerable to make Frank Flannagan a lot more sympathetic; Gary Cooper was not the guy for that job. Secondly, and more importantly, the fifty-six-year-old Cooper was way too old for the twenty-eight-year-old Audrey Hepburn; it's distracting at best, and at worst it's cringe-inducing.
Still, though, if you take your glasses off so you can't see Cooper's wrinkles, it's a pretty entertaining watch overall.
Happy Birthday Audrey Hepburn!
(I'll be watching a few of her other films as well today)
Despite Wilder's attempts at trying to make a sweet romance, I couldn't help but think of this as The Fran Kubilek And Jeff Sheldrake Origin Story most of the time. Cooper's character might have garnered more sympathy if he'd been a more responsible person, but the ridiculous age gap combined with his ambiguous feelings/personality made their relationship frequently icky. I think I've now seen about 100 Audrey Hepburn films set in Paris at this point.
Some really great stuff here...but was this essentially Lolita only the relationship was universally accepted?
It didn't occur to me until a few hours after I finished this but Audrey Hepburn's character appears to be 15, maybe 16 and she's dating a man in his late 40's... possibly in his 50's. Oh did I mention Audrey Hepburn's father character approved of this relationship.
This rare Wilder misfire is an airless attempt at breezy romance. The fault lies primarily with the miscasting of Gary Cooper as an internationally infamous lothario. The age gap between him and Audrey Hepburn (he was literally twice her age at the time) has most frequently been cited as the problem, but Coop was never capable at pulling off this kind of role, even in his heyday. The charmless result had me wincing, sadly hoping Ariane would come to her senses and join a convent.
One of Wilder's weaker efforts, but it didn't have to be. I'm imagining a version in which the third act developments arrive much earlier and make for a fun cat-and-mouse game that plays out against the budding romance between a different pair of stars. In other words, something closer to, say, Bogdanovich's They All Laughed (or perhaps Truffaut's Stolen Kisses?) with the pacing of Wilder's One, Two, Three. As is, Love in the Afternoon is a saggy picture with a rather unpleasant coupling of two otherwise great actors. Hepburn is fine, but Cooper, though charming, registers as more of a father figure than an aging playboy, and so their chemistry suffers. I can handle the age difference common in Classical Hollywood cinema* (for instance, the Kelly & Stewart/Grant relationships always worked; or even Kelly & Cooper in High Noon), but this one in particular is off-putting. What's more, Chevalier is criminally underused.
*a typicality less agreeable in current cinema, of course
Comedy | Romance | Drama
Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Gary Cooper, Audrey Hepburn, Maurice Chevalier
Director Billy Wilder salutes his idol, Ernst Lubitsch, with this comedy about a middle-aged playboy fascinated by the daughter of a private detective who has been hired to entrap him with the wife of a client.
Frank Flannagan: "He who loves and runs away, lives to love another day."
- delightful performances Audrey Hepburn and Gary Cooper give as the cleverly calculating couple who spar through the amorous afternoons
- the whole film was made in Paris, where je ne sais quoi is in the air
- gypsy musicians following the lovers throughout the movie playing the "Fascination Waltz"
The way Audrey Hepburn says Papa, wish i could father her...
If you don't already, make use of your public libraries! They are a treasure trove for cinema lovers!