Classic Film Reviews: Funny Face 1957

source: Paramount Pictures

Paris has always been a city I’ve dying to visit for a long time; the art, the culture and the food would all make a trip to the French capitol worth while.

In 1957’s Funny Face starring Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire, Hepburn’s character Jo Stockton goes through a similar love affair with Paris as well.

Being plucked out of obscurity by fashion magazine editor Maggie Prescott, played by Kay Francis, in order to usher in a new era of “intelligent and beautiful,” Jo goes on a whirlwind makeover that see her go from mousy librarian, to high fashion cover model.

source: Paramount Pictures

While undergoing her transformation she meets and slowly but surely falls in love with photographer Dick Avery, played by Fred Astaire.

Initially she treats him like any other woman would a man who made unwanted advances, but when Dick subverts her expectations she gradually lets her heart get carried away.

Luckily for Jo, Dick appeases her every whim and desire, even going as far as going to underground clubs to discuss the inner workings of the human psyche with philosophers.

source: Paramount Pictures

Slowly but surely, Dick and Jo start to fall in love, and this coincides with Jo’s professional modeling career taking off.

Hell, there’s even a huge musical number celebrating their love for Paris in “Bonjour Paris!”

But, as always in typical Hollywood fashion….something goes a’muck. Jo and Dick get into an argument over something pretty trivial ( another man, what else is new) which causes the budding new relationship to strain.

source: Paramount Pictures

As Jo and Dick continue to fight, Dick makes plans to leave the country due to Jo’s extracurricular escapades. Eventually Jo makes a complete 180 but not until Dick takes a taxi to the airport.

At his terminal, he runs into the man that Jo was with and he learns that Jo attacked him refused his advances and that’s when the light bulb goes of in Dick’s head.

Dick makes his way back to the year end fashion show where Jo is supposed to be wearing her statement piece. But according to Maggie, it’s revealed that Jo ran back to the place where they shared their first romantic moment: a church where Dick first photographed her in a wedding dress.

They inevitably make up while serenading each other with “S’Wonderful” thus erasing any bad blood between them.

source: Paramount Pictures

Funny Face is absolutely an incredible movie. It’s visuals, acting and on location shooting makes for a wickedly entertaining ride.

Stanley Donen most definitely had the magic touch when it came to movie making. The film is every pre convieved notion you had about Paris and more.

The Bohemian intellectuals, the fashion, the art, and the food, all the while you fall in love with the person of your dreams.

What’s not to like?

If you get a chance be sure to give this flick another spin, you’ll probably catch some things you missed the first time!

*****Author’s note*****

I apologize for being MIA for a month and a half. School has been quite stressful and my job at the school’s newspaper has given me extra ‘food’ on my plate.

Since my time is starting to free up, I’ll be able to post a lot more regularly. This means more intriguting behind the scenes stores I can bring you all!

Thanks again!

  • Alex
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