Audrey Hepburn's male partners are a good case study for Hollywood sexism and ageism. In the 1950s and 1960s, she was often paired with older men, some old enough to be her father (Bogart, Cooper, Astaire, Fonda and Cary Grant - although he was in a category of his own). While we are expected that this bright, gorgeous creature could fall in love with older men; older women often had to suffer if they dared wishing to be interested in virile young men. This is one of the more extreme cases in this series - at some stage Astaire actually says that he doesn't care for her intellect. In the same vein, there is a scene where domestic violence turns rebellious women into devoted ones (this is set in France, so it could be aimed at French women). In fact, faced with Astaire's irrestitible charm, she abandons all intellectual preocupations for love.
satire has dated badly (the intellectual circles, the philosopher
more interested in more material pursuits), and the romantic bits are
over the top (the swans and the barge are really good examples). Hepburn
is beautifully photographed (and the new restoration looks
impeccable) and murders a few Gershwin songs (particularly "How long has
this been going on?") but she has nothing else to do other than showing
pretty clothes - although she does it well, creating an iconic image in
the Louvre sequence. As for
Astaire, all he does is repeat all he had spent the previous two and
half decades doing. And while it's fun to see Paris in the 1950s (and
how little the city centre has
changed) and Givenchy and Edith Head get to show off their talent as
designers, I fear this one is for hardcore Audrey fans only.
sole redeeming feture of the film is Kay Thompson who gets the best
number ("Think Pink!") and lightens up the others she appears. Oh, and
Audrey's photographs within the film are very good indeed.