Funny Face Reviews
Astaire plays a fashion photographer (supposedly based upon Richard Avedon) who "discovers" a beautiful clerk (Audrey Hepburn) in a Greenwich Village philosophy bookstore. The photographer, who works for Quality magazine, convinces the chief editor, played by Kay Thompson, that this girl is the fresh face the publication needs to offer the public, and together they lure her to Paris, where she will be presented and will model an exclusive collection.
Audrey Hepburn is, as usual, great in her role as the stubborn, romantic Jo. She is enamored with a philosophic current named empathicalism, and agrees to go to Paris only because there she might be able to catch one of the founder's conferences. She's very skeptical of the world of 'fashion' and initially rather reluctant, but she manages to see what is beautiful and worthwhile about it in time. In turn, Richard, the photographer, begins to fall in love with her authenticity and strong character, sustained only by her small frame and her huge, dreamy eyes.
Funny Face isn't very concerned about glorifying frivolity at all or vice versa, only about providing inspiring images and music. Audrey's singing and dancing is really a pleasure to behold; she was truly versatile... one second she could look frail and wide-eyed, the next she could be dancing manically and aggresively in an "existentalist" club. Fred Astaire and Kay Thompson share one of the best numbers in the film, a long show with a dozen different musical styles.
The music, by Ira and George Gershwin, is overall very dissimilar: there isn't a single style that unifies all the songs in the film. However, I didn't find this a problem at all. On the contrary, every number was unexpected and unconventional, so Funny Face never quite feels like a traditional musical, and that's fine by me.
Choreography in a darkroom, hairy philosophers, vibrant colors, beautiful costumes, catchy melodies, all these things define the film. It's a light but delightful watch, a must for Audrey fans, and a visual reference for the death of the 50s.
P.S. And I'm fed up with all these "Fred Astaire is a mummy this romance is so improbable" comments. He is old. Deal with it. He's a dance GOD.
The songs were catchy. Though, I didnt care much for the dancing that went with some of them. They felt a bit contrived and too "broadway-esque". It was a bit been there and done that. The solo dance numbers by Audrey and Fred were MUCH better.
Overall, I enjoyed it. But its not my favourite Audrey film.
There's not enough connection with Fred Astaire to say it's a love movie. In addition, there was a blooper at the beginning of the film, where Audrey is at the library and looking at the mirror you can see a man upstairs (filming camera men). They didn't watch the angles for correct shooting.