Funny Face (1957)

  • The opening credits are so designy & artsy! How gorgeous.

(At the end of them reads: “Special visual consultant and Main Title Backgrounds…Richard Avedon.” So…that pretty much explains that.)

  • Costumes in this are by Edith Head…and of course Audrey Hepburn’s “Paris wardrobe” is provided by Givenchy.
  • Directed by Stanley Donen.
  • To begin, Ms. Prescott (Kay Thompson) thinks the latest issue of Quality Magazine is dreary and awful.
  • “To women everywhere – banish the black, burn the blue, and bury the beige. From now on, girls – think pink!”

AMEN MS. PRESCOTT!!! I DON’T EVEN KNOW YOU, BUT AMEN!

  • Pink toothpaste?! I want that!
  • So after the pink issue is coming an issue centered around the theme “Clothes for the woman who doesn’t want clothes” (or some such nonsense).
  • Fred Astaire is the fashion photographer, but he can’t get Marion (his model, played by Dovima) to look intellectual. All she does is worry about picking up Harold (whoever the fuck he his)’s laundry & then also read a comic book called “Minute Men from Mars.”

…Yeah, good luck with that, Fred.

  • To improve their chances of capturing a shot of Marion the (un)Intellectual, they invade a local, “sinister”-looking bookstore. Audrey Hepburn works there, & she’s like, ‘No! Leave now! Stop touching things! The owner hates fashion magazines!’

Unfortunately for Bookworm Audrey, it’s roughly 12 people against 1. She can’t compete with all the Pink People!

  • Aw, how sweet. Fred (his character’s name is Dick Avery) stays behind after The Invasion to help straighten up the shop.
  • Aw, not so sweet – Fred just kisses Jo (Hepburn), with no prompting or reason whatsoever. “Don’t be silly – everyone wants to be kissed,” Fred says, when Audrey scolds him for it. ‘Uh – no! Not when you’re a creepster old man who’s known me for four minutes and who just took part in the wrecking of my beloved bookstore! Fuck you, Cameraman!’ Audrey replies.

(Well…I mean…she doesn’t quite say that. But she should!)

  • It’s nice to hear Audrey Hepburn sing – she has such a unique voice…what it lacks in perfect tone, it makes up in overall character. (I’ve always thought that about her version of Moon River in BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S (1961)). Definitely true here, too.
  • Ms. Prescott wants to pick a Quality Woman: one woman who represents all the charm & class & intellect & beauty that Quality Magazine represents. Fred suggests Jo. Ms. Prescott says “The thing from the bookstore?”

Heh!

  • At first, Jo is like, ‘Hells no, I will not be your Quality Model’…until Fred’s like, “You can visit Paris……” and then Jo’s like, ‘SOLD! I’m in! Show me the dotted line, and I’ll sign the shit out of that motherfucker!’

(I may be slightly over-colorizing Jo’s language. Just, you know, for the record.)

  • Anyway, Fred convinces her that her “funny” face is actually marvelous, & that they’ll do great things together. Then they dance around his darkroom, and it’s delightful.
  • (You know – if it wasn’t Fred Astaire & AH & all of their blatant loveability, I’d probably have serious objections to this plot. ‘Hey there random girl, I have a bizarre obsession with how you look – I’m gonna kiss you & upend your life & sing songs about how I hope you can cook because then you’d be the ideal woman. And also I’m 30 years older than you – hope you like creeps!’ However – because it’s Fred Astaire & Audrey Hepburn – I’ll buy it, because it works. Sigh.)
  • While they’re in Paris…they really should explore the idea of investing in some Eiffel Tower souvenirs. I hear they’re made of real gold, these days! (Here’s looking at you, Chiquita!) (THE LAVENDER HILL MOB (1951))
  • A girl in the underground club stops Fred Astaire and is like, “Gigi would like to dance. I am Gigi.”

Fuck you, Gigi! Your movie is terrible!

(Sorry. Couldn’t help it. Moving on.)

  • Fred Astaire is way too Fred Astaire-ish to be bought as a serious fashion photographer. Would just like to have that noted somewhere.

(Don’t get me wrong – Astaire is amazing & I love him…he’s just not very believable as a serious player in this particular profession.)

  • “I love Paris! And I love these clothes! And I love you!.” — Jo, to Fred.

Oh, groan. Can you not?

  • On the night of Jo’s Debut Ball, the professor/philosopher she worships (Professor Emile Flostre, played by Michel Auclair) is speaking at one of the local cafes. Dick (that’s Fred’s name in this, in case you’ve forgotten) drags Jo out of there so they can make it to their event on time…but also because he’s jealous of the way Flostre is looking at Jo (or the way Jo is looking at him) (or maybe both). Anyway, Jo is pissed, & she argues that Professor Flostre is merely interested in her intellect.

“He’s about as interested in your intellect as I am,” says Dick.

Jesus Christ! What a Dick thing to say! (Then again, I guess that way of talking to women was semi-acceptable in the ’50s. Woof.)

  • Backstage at the presentation, a water feature explodes & the whole thing is ruined. It’s equal parts hilarious & sad!
  • Well, well, well – turns out Professor Flostre is a phony (to a degree, anyway) and is primarily interested in getting it on with Jo. That sucks. What a goddamn scoundrel.
  • Oh, excellent. The fashion show ultimately goes swimmingly & Dick & Jo make up & dance away into the happily ever after.
  • Can’t say I’ll ever watch this again, but it was pretty good, for what it was.
  • And, just as a final note – this was the first of 3 pairings of Audrey Hepburn & Stanley Donen (the other two being CHARADE (1963) and TWO FOR THE ROAD (1967)).
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