Three stars â€“ Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire, the almost otherwise-unremembered (except for being the creator of Eloise) Kay Thompson – and a full slate of Gershwin songs make this light and delicate confection of a movie musical as airy and enjoyable as a meringue. It dissolves, leaving nothing more than a memory of having spent a couple of hours watching it, a sweet memory on the tongue, and a couple of amusing crumbs of dance, 50ies haute couture and Paris in the springtime. It was amusing to compare and contrast the created â€œQualityâ€ fashion magazine in this movie to the equally created â€œModeâ€ of â€œUgly Betty, each of them having the imperious editor laying down the fashion law to the lesser orders. Was there once a time â€“ is there still a time â€“ when women could be ordered to â€œThink Pink?â€ as does Maggie Prescott (Thompson) and anyone but her office minions and a handful of desperately fashion conscious women would obey? Oh, well â€“ it is amusing to think there is, and even more amusing â€“ for the plot of this movie to think that a shy and uncertain bookstore clerk (Hepburn) could be picked out of dusty obscurity among the stacks and whisked off to Paris to become the very picture of fashion and glamour. For so she is, aided by the fashion photographer (Astaire) who sees the lovely butterfly in her bookstore chrysalis â€“ of course they fall for each other. Who wouldnâ€™t, given that they are in Paris? Even though he actually appears to be better than twice her age, much can be overlooked in man who could dance like Astaire. And he partnered beautifully with both Hepburn and Thompson in very different dance numbers; as my daughter remarked, â€œhe showed them both offâ€.
Of the special features on this DVD edition, the most outstanding is the one focusing on Kay Thompson, who ought to be better known than just as the creator of the mischievous little girl Eloise, who lived in the Plaza Hotel.
Ms Thompson was a truly multi-talented personality, a skilled musician and performer, immensely popular, whose best and most winning performances seem to have been on stage, or in nightclubs more than forty years ago. Her show-stealing performance in Funny Face is but a tiny portion, a brief taste of her talents. Well, that, and the Eloise Books.
Funny Face â€“Centennial Edition is available through Amazon.com and other retail outlets.
Sgt. Mom is a free-lance writer and member of the Independent Authors Guild who lives in San Antonio and blogs at The Daily Brief. Her current book project â€“ The Adelsverein Trilogy is also available through Amazon.com. More about her books is at her website www.celiahayes.com.