As they are waiting for a divorce, young movie star Malissa Farrell and famous pianist Rudy Walter have left their baby, Johnny, with a child minder in Le Vésinet. Marinette, the latter's ... See full summary »
Hollywood producer Alexander Meyerheimer has hired drunken writer Richard Benson to write his latest movie. Benson has been holed up in a Paris apartment supposedly working on the script for months, but instead has spent the time living it up. Benson now has just two days to the deadline and thus hires a temporary secretary, Gabrielle Simpson, to help him complete it in time. Written by
Col Needham <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film seems to want to cash in on the genre that was so popular in the 1960s. Before the James Bond movies, anything to do with contemporary Europe in American films was either a musical or a noirish spy film. This movie reflects the big-screen, brightly colored and chock full of designer clothing look that was typical of the 60s. This was a time when movies were struggling to compete with color television, and the films got bigger, splashier, and took us to more and more exotic locations.
Paris When It Sizzles is very typical of the movies I remember from that time. It looks very much like the Pink Panther franchise, but it strives to be more sophisticated. I frankly think the direction and editing of the movie drag it down. There are is some very witty dialog ("how funny that we both kept giraffes!"), lots of in-jokes about the movie-making process, two very attractive stars (three if you count Tony Curtis in a supporting role), but it still drags more than it should. Except for Curtis, who is really funny and gets the tongue-in-cheek slant of the film just right, the rest seem to be laboring much too hard. The physical jokes (chase scenes, etc.) are overblown and generally go on too long. The whole look of the film seems heavy-handed when it should have been light and breezy. I have the impression this film was intended as farce, but it's more like that proverbial lead balloon. It's too bad, really. This could have been a lot funnier than it is. Nevertheless, Hepburn looks beautiful and soldiers on gamely, as she always did. Even if she did not enjoy making this movie, as has been reported, you wouldn't suspect it from her performance. She was the right choice for this role, but an actor never knows until she sees the final cut of a movie what it's going to look like. And yeah, I agree, that Dracula thing was pretty awful. Curtis' "Method" actor performance almost makes up for it. And what just what was Noel Coward doing in this picture, anyway? He's about as much of a Hollywood producer as Audrey Hepburn is Xena the Warrior Princess.
To really see how surreal farce was done right in the 1960s, I recommend the Beatles' "Help."
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