Fred Astaire’s dancing feet come full circle in this musical about high-fashion photography in Paris, co-starring Audrey Hepburn as a young model.
Famed fashion photographer Dick Avery discovers a new muse in bookshop clerk Jo Stockton.Together with a fashion magazine editor, they fly off to Paris to work with a top designer on an exclusive collection.
That’s its plot, but here’s all that you actually need to know about this movie: the extremely fashionable Audrey Hepburn wanders around a European city with a charming older man — a tried and true formula.
Audrey Hepburn as Jo
As a bookworm who becomes a model to score a free trip to Paris, Jo is one lucky duck. But she’s supremely flaky about the job that she’s been hired and sent to Paris to do, because it interferes with chatting up philosophers in her own free time. Modelling might not be her life’s ambition, but it’s the ONLY DAMN REASON WHY SHE’S IN PARIS AT ALL, so mayyyyybe be a little more cooperative?! Misguided priorities aside, I do quite like Jo. Such is the power of Audrey.
Fred Astaire as Dick
Dick is a little bit of a weirdo that creates any excuse to kiss Jo (which: understandable. But boundaries and consent, dude.). At one point, his overprotective and patronizing side emerges; NOT GREAT, BOB. And then HE SINGS AND DANCES, and all is — well, not forgiven, but at least temporarily ignored, and then completely ignored because Dick Avery is fictional whereas Fred Astaire is very real and debonair and as incredible as a dancer as he was in his younger days. SIGH.
Couch-Sharing Capability: High
Since there exists a faction of humans who don’t care for musicals (i.e., NOT ME; i.e., MONSTERS), I can’t give this full marks for shareability. But a viewing buddy would make ranting over characterization and raving over landmarks and clothes even more fun.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: Medium
You don’t need to be drunk to enjoy this movie, but a slight buzz might lessen a few minor frustrations. Such as: how could anyone barge into a bookstore and screw up the entire organizational system for a photoshoot? Who would ever believe that Audrey Hepburn is a lowly caterpillar? As fantastic as the stars are, why is there a 30-year age difference between the love interests? (That’s like Woody Allen wish fulfillment territory!)
You could also take a drink whenever someone says ’empathicalism’ or ’empathy’, and take a shot for each ‘pizazz’. The first time I watched this, I felt like it was every second word out of Jo’s mouth was about empathicalism. Upon rewatch, it’s actually much less noticeable than I had remembered, but there are still enough mentions to build a mini drinking game.
Use of Your Streaming Subscription: ASAP
As in, you better act fast because this movie is being removed from Netflix tomorrow (May 1st). Another Audrey classic, Sabrina, is about to be banished to Netflix limbo along with it; I actually prefer Sabrina to Funny Face, but I went with FF because it’s Lorelai Gilmore’s favourite movie, it was featured in those Gap ads during the mid-’00s, and Fred Astaire 4EVA.
Funny Face isn’t perfect. But ‘s wonderful, ‘s marvelous.