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.
In 1930, in Belgium, Gabrielle van der Mal is the stubborn daughter of the prominent surgeon Dr. Pascin Van Der Mal that decides to leave her the upper-class family to enter to a convent, ... See full summary »
Fashion photographer Dick Avery, in search for an intellectual backdrop for an air-headed model, expropriates a Greenwich Village bookstore. When the photo session is over the store is left in a shambles, much to salesgirl Jo Stockton's dismay. Avery stays behind to help her clean up. Later, he examines the photos taken there and sees Jo in the background of one shot. He is intrigued by her unique appearance, as is Maggie Prescott, the editor of a leading fashion magazine. They offer Jo a modeling contract, which she reluctantly accepts only because it includes a trip to Paris. Eventually, her snobbish attitude toward the job softens, and Jo begins to enjoy the work and the company of her handsome photographer. Written by
Fred Astaire's character is based on photographer Richard Avedon. In fact, it is Avedon who set up most of the photography for this film, including the famous face portrait of Audrey Hepburn unveiled during the dark room sequence. See more »
In the darkroom for the second print a partly covered paper is exposed, but after developing a full format print is taken out of the bath. See more »
[Dick kisses Jo]
Why did you do that?
Empathy. I put myself in your place and I felt that you wanted to be kissed.
I'm afraid you put yourself in the WRONG place. I have no desire to be kissed, by you or anyone else.
See more »
Enjoyable Enough as Long As It's Not Taken Too Seriously
As long as you do not take the premise or the characters or the plot too seriously, this is an enjoyable movie with an interesting pairing of Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn, plus an excellent supporting performance by Kay Thompson and some good-looking settings and scenery. The musical numbers are pleasant, if rather on the light side. Stanley Donen has the right touch in keeping things together without making the seams show too often.
Hepburn is cast in a somewhat unexpected role, as a drab intellectual store clerk who gets involved with Fred Astaire's (much older) photographer character. Audrey is so charming that's it's very difficult to think of her as a wallflower, and while Astaire is as energetic as ever, there are more than a couple of occasions on which the relationship doesn't really look believable, despite the best efforts of the two stars. The plot isn't supposed to be anything weighty anyway, so perhaps that's the price you have to pay for a rather different pairing.
Kay Thompson provides many of the best moments. Sometimes the satire of trendy philosophy comes off well, at other times it gets a little dull. Not to be forgotten are the colorful and interesting settings and backgrounds, which set off the story and music fairly well. It's sometimes a strange combination, but as lighter entertainment it all works well enough.
29 of 37 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?