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Audrey Hepburn plays Arianne, the daughter of a private detective Claude Chavasse (Maurice Chavalier) and they live in Paris.She plays the cello and becomes awfully interested in her father's case files and especially one man, Frank Flannigan (Gary Cooper).He has a relationship with a married woman and has had many before that.The jealous husband (John McGiver) is coming to the hotel he's staying at and wants to shoot him.Arianne overhears his plan and runs to the hotel to stop him.One thing leads to another and soon Arianne is his girl.Billy Wilder's Love in the Afternoon (1957) is a great romantic comedy and way too underrated.Some people say that Audrey Hepburn and Gary Cooper are in a wrong movie playing the wrong parts.That the playboy Cooper plays is too old for the younger Hepburn.To me those are kind of details that don't make any difference.I enjoyed watching this movie very much.I could probably put it in the top three of Wilder films.This is funny in many parts, like the times with the lady and the barking dog.And it can also be very touching like the ending that should have an effect to the most cynical souls.A perfect movie for those who hunger for romance.
I completely disagree that Coop was miscast in this role. While I agree
that Cary Grant would also have been fine, Coop was perfect. Few people
apparently know that Gary Cooper was a rapacious playboy in real life,
thus he played himself in the movie. So many complain that Coop looks
"old" or "unsexy" in this film. All I can say is they must be seriously
sight-impaired. No woman watching this film would doubt that Hepburn
wouldn't instantly be attracted to and fall in love with this wonderful
The music is wonderful, the direction by Billy Wilder is also perfectly understated. An excellent movie.
Love in the Afternoon is a delicious treat for lovers of the classic black and white romantic comedy. Audrey Hepburn is enchantingly chic as the innocent doe-eyed girl love struck by the older, worldly Cooper. Apart from humour the movie does reflect a depth of sensitivity mainly attributed to Audrey's screen presence and a wonderful musical score.
Billy Wilder has the ability to write and direct movies that are funny and emotionally complex at the same time. This movie reaches towards depths while never betraying the comedic situations it creates. If only there were more writer/directors doing the same thing these days (although Cameron Crowe's "Jerry Maguire" and David O. Russell's "Flirting With Disaster" are good examples of recent films). The acting is superb across the board, Hepburn is luminous and acts with complicated simplicity (only way I can think of putting it) as always. A very well-written (beautifully structured) script as well. Almost as good as Wilder's "The Apartment."
This is a very fine and sophisticated romantic comedy. It has wonderful
improbabilities and charming humor. The story is "tight". The acting is
superb. There are many captivating touches --- for example, the gypsy
musicians. It is definitely a "10".
As to Gary Cooper as the romantic lead opposite the winsome Audrey Hepburn, I think that we must consider that this film was made in a different age, one in which an older man can be seen as a sexual and romantic person (consider Cary Grant in "An Affair to Remember") and in which an older man with a complex background can be won over by an innocent.
The last scene is one of the greatest and most suspenseful of all scenes in romance movies. Completely satisfying.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a nice idea. It's an OK movie. I can see why people like it, but my life-long aversion to Gary Cooper and his stupid, passionless version of acting just pops up again. I absolutely hated him in his heyday and here where he is so old he should have turned the part down, he's even more annoying and phlegmatic. I doubt he had any interest in acting as a craft at the start of his career and this movie proves he didn't pick up any interest along the way. hepburn listing her lovers into a dictaphone (including a sports team, if I remember correctly) is an extraordinarily funny, smutty idea for the time. The song 'Fascination' receives too much time on the soundtrack
The many comments I have read about "Coop" are essentially without
merit. Many younger women--in film AND in "real" life--find vivacious,
bright, charming men attractive. In movies we have more than one Fred
Astaire flick, and another one or so with either Bogart or Cary Grant
or Harrison Ford. Reality? How about Picasso, Chaplin, and any Techie
billionaire with a Trophy wife.
No: problem here is that Cooper was obviously ill, and looked terrible in more than one scene. Additionally, I did not sense/feel the usual pizazz that Wilder could produce in some of his better films, such as, say, "Some Like It Hot." Ms. Hepburn is always charming; too thin for my taste, but a good actress in almost anything that she's done. Maurice is charming, although I prefer him singing ("Thank Heaven for little girls").
An OK film with little to recommend it other than Hepburn.
I suppose I should be embarrassed after going off on director Billy Wilder last week over his overrated 1957 film Witness for the Prosecution, because I absolutely loved his other 1957 film, Love in the Afternoon. I guess when he gets it right, he gets it right, because the direction here is fantastic. This is one of the most romantic romances, and one of the funniest comedies I've seen in a while, told with such a sense of style and wit that I enjoyed it more than I believed possible. Audrey Hepburn stars as a young student of the cello. Her father (Maurice Chevalier) is a private detective, and she loves to follow his sordid cases. One particular character appears in many of his cases as a cuckold, Gary Cooper. When one of Chevalier's clients plans to shoot Cooper, Hepurn overhears and sets out to warn him. Afterwards, they begin a romance. She's very inexperienced, and obviously a little afraid that he'll so thoroughly outclass and manipulate her that she decides to play some head games with him, telling him that she has had many lovers. By driving him to insane jealousy, she thinks she can see if he can possibly be in love for real. The biggest fault of the film, one that everyone agrees on no matter at what degree they love the movie, is that Gary Cooper is horrendously miscast. This has got to be one of the worst cases of casting in history. He's a thousand years older than Hepburn. Well, a lot of Hepburn's co-stars were far too old for her, and it harms any number of her films. Weren't there any actors in their 20s, 30s, or, heck, even 40s who were good enough to match Audrey? Why did directors and producers of her films think she would rather sleep with someone 30 years her senior? Has it something to do with her as a person? You know, this might have been the perfect opportunity to put Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn together again for a reunion. Fortunately, Cooper's presence (or poor performance) doesn't hurt the film anywhere near as much as you would suppose, or as some have suggested. I guess Cooper is such a blank actor that you can more or less ignore him. The movie is, after all, about Audrey; Audrey is everything to the film. And she is perfect. She plays it so subtly and wonderfully; it's really one of her greatest performances. The humor is very good. I love the picnic scene, the way that chicken leg is used as a prop. And those gypsies are great. I might have been annoyed at them in a lesser movie, but they are always used very well. The scene where Cooper is becoming obsessed with a recording that Audrey has made, which lists all of her love affairs, is a highlight, with Cooper and the gypsies rolling a cart full of alcoholic drinks on it back and forth in his hotel room. This is a gem, one of the best romances ever. 9/10.
Billy Wilder himself called this - his own movie - "a pleasant movie in
a minor key." In other words, it's not his very best, in his own
Yet it's eminently worth watching. And I argue that the final 10 per cent of the film contains every bit the Wilder genius we've thrilled over in other films. In find, in the final scene, we find Wilder, Gary Cooper and Audrey Hepburn at the their classic best (and could Hepburn be any more lovable than we find her here?). The gypsy musician scene, the PI scene and the final train station scene are some of the funniest and most moving scenes you will ever see. And the ending will bring a tear to your eye. Here you'll find a classic romantic comedy brilliance at a level only a great director and writer like Wilder and great actors like Cooper and Hepburn could pull off.
Overall, this is an entertaining film and an amusing way to spend an evening. It's a light romantic comedy featuring the creative input of many movie heavyweights (including a writing assist from Iz Diamond - with whom Wilder would later write the great comedy Some Like It Hot and a very charming Maurice Chevalier).
A 27-year old Hepburn is very endearing and inspired in a this movie. This is one of her finest performances ever and she absolutely puts this film over the top.
Great as Cooper was (and I'm a Gary Cooper fan) - Hepburn could have used a different male romantic lead. Cooper himself had misgivings of playing this part because he felt he was too old. It's not that he's old - it's that the evidence (to those who are aware of it) of his painful fatal illness (he died only four years later) diminished his presence here (he appears ill and lacking in a certain characteristic energy) and it made him less than perfect for this film. Still, you will see notable flashes of Cooper's charm and brilliance here.
Chevalier - though although miscast (he was arguably too old to play Hepburn's father) - makes the most of his part and is highly charming. In fact, like Hepburn, he is at his best here as an actor and comic straight man. And in many ways his strong performance keeps this film afloat. In fact, his contribution to the final scene - though small in measured time - is priceless. You'll know what I mean when you see it. He puts the humor in this most touching scene. And he puts the "period" on this film - endorsing and making "nice" the rocky romance that was developing, as only Chevalier could do. With Chevalier's final contributions, we feel super good. It doesn't get any better than this.
True - Wilder's comic genius is not at its height especially at the start of this film - but as it goes along, you'll discover so many little classically funny and amusing vignettes - scenes created by a master, scenes you'll remember forever - that you'll be glad you stuck with this film to the very end.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Most beautiful romantic comedy. It is a classic with Audrey Hepburn and Gary cooper. A middle aged playboy finally falling in love most expectedly. Some time so wonder the story reminds me of the taming the shrew but with role reversal. Hepburn plays this lovely young girl with no romantic history yet projecting the image of a femme fatal. I love the ending ... subtly set in the afternoon. Both the characters have this perfect timing, wit and humour. Distinctive style of Hepburn and cooper add this very sophistication to this love story. A powerful script. Some had argued that here was no plausible chemistry between Hepburn and cooper- however, that is where the acting ... very strong acting comes in. I feel there was chemistry, but one has to account for the huge age gap between the two characters. A must see!Great movie.
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