Funny Face

Funny Face ★★★★

How apropos that I watched this on the eve of Audrey Hepburn's 85th birthday! It was my fourth AHep movie and I am beginning to see what all the fuss is about with her. She's really lovely here, an intelligent woman who embraces her more traditionally feminine side when a fashion photoshoot, led by Fred Astaire, barges into the bookstore in which she works. Soon, she's on a plane to Paris as the centerpiece of fashion designer's summer line. There's romance, dancing, singing, and some idealism thrown in for good measure before the whole thing is over. It's a really pleasant film.

However, it doesn't really go beyond that for me. Thoroughly enjoyable is about as high praise as I can give it, not that that's a bad thing at all. Astaire and Hepburn have a tangible chemistry so strong that even the age difference isn't that big a deal. I liked the feints towards an intellectual rigor that I haven't seen many of the mid-century movies make, though it doesn't do much with it outside the meet-cute and the fantastic and iconic modern dance scene. And how great is that scene? a smoky underground Parisian cafe comes to life with her half-awkward, half-graceful movement, all done with a knowing wink towards the audience and Astaire. Again, none of the songs stuck out to me as being particularly catchy or anything, though, which has been an early disappointment in this musical month. Oh, well, there's always tomorrow.

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