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Maggie Scott (Ann-Margret), a fashion buyer in Paris on her first buying spree where she meets famous fashion designer Mark Fontaine (Louis Jourdan) and he immediately gives her the big rush. When Maggie appears to have lost the lucrative contract with Fontaine, her boss Ted Barclay (Chad Everett), the son of her company's owner, comes to Paris to straighten things out, making an even bigger mess of things. Written by
TCM ran this tonight, and I had to wander why. There's plenty of talent here, but not in the script or the direction.
Poor Ann-Margret, who was an accomplished dancer - and, of course, a very attractive woman - gets stuck in a role where her only dancing is a very bad knock-off of what made her famous in Bye, Bye Birdie. She plays someone so naive and puritanical that all her sex appeal fails to overcome the impression that she's one frigid, repressed basket case.
The rest of the movie isn't much better. Good to very good actors get stuck in roles that barely have two dimensions.
And don't let the "Paris" in the title fool you. Most of this movie was filmed not just on sets - after all, that was true of An American in Paris as well, and that is a stupendous movie - but uninteresting sets, hotel rooms that may have been left over from MGM's 1939 Ninotchka. The only atmospheric moment is an embarrassment. AM and Louis Jourdain appear on the set used for Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron in AAIP, the great Seine River scene where the two great dancers dance and fall in love. This time, however, that same set is shot without any of the poetry that has immortalized it in AAIP. The song is not great Gershwin, but an forgettable flop. And there is no dancing. Even though AM was a great dancer. Talk about wasting an opportunity! In short, there really is nothing to recommend this movie. Those in it all did better, much better, elsewhere. It's often embarrassing to watch them here.
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