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Tricia's Retro Film Reviews: Funny Face

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Funny Face

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Funny Face is the 1957 musical starring Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn. Maggie Prescott is searching for the next Quality magazine model. She finds one in book store clerk Jo Stockton, who has to be convinced to model. Taking the pictures is Dick Avery, who gets her to take the job by mentioning that they’ll go to Paris. She wants to meet philosopher Emil Flostre, who is the founder of Empathicism. The shoot goes smoothly until Dick and Jo get into a fight and she runs away before her big event. Can they find her before the shoot is ruined?

This is a pretty funny movie with good music and choreography. Audrey Hepburn really doesn’t have a “funny face,” since she’s Hollywood pretty, although she does make a convincing amateur intellectual. The opening is memorable, as we head right into a song called “Think Pink.” In fact, Maggie is a pretty memorable character in her own right, as she is doing her best to deal with Jo’s craziness. She’s even flexible enough to join Dick in his zany scheme to sneak into Flostre’s house in order to find Jo. The screenwriter is clearly making fun of modern philosophy as Empathicism doesn’t make any sense, as you can’t really know what a person is thinking by just waving your hands any old way. It’s not surprising that Emile would try to get into Jo’s pants, as many philosopher have notorious private lives. Fred Astaire does a good job with his hybrid style of ballet/tap dancing. The real surprise is that Audrey Hepburn has a few dance numbers and turns out to be a pretty good one. This is a funny musical with great dance numbers. Honolulu musical fans should watch this movie.

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