Funny Face

I watched some of the news from France before going off to the office. I was satisfied with the progress that I made, and I managed to avoid spending any money. When I got home, I watched the movie “Funny Face” with Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire. The director was Stanley Donen, who made some of my favorite movies. The first shot of Audrey was in a bookstore, where she was on a ladder that someone had pushed aside. This was in 1957, just four years after “Roman Holiday.” I thought this was one of Audrey Hepburn’s most enjoyable movies, although the script seemed to display a grudge against intellectual types. I liked watching the colors in this big movie, and it reminded me of “Singin’ in the Rain.” Audrey showed that she could do a good job in a musical, although her voice didn’t have the vibrant quality producers wanted for “My Fair Lady.” Fred Astaire still had quite a bit of magic going, although I don’t think it lasted until “Finian’s Rainbow.” He was still singing well and could deliver those comedic lines for laughs. The one distraction was the age difference between him and Audrey. It makes the romantic attraction not so believable. What is funny is that it’s Fred who has the funny face, while Audrey is photogenic. During “He Loves and She Loves,” I couldn’t help thinking that it looked like he was going to hit his head on the tree. You can’t beat the Gershwin songs on this soundtrack. Like “An American in Paris,” “Girl Crazy,” and “Manhattan,” the Gershwin songs are used well here. I really liked the Paris montage that showed Audrey riding a horse. It made me think back to how Paris looked in films by Francois Truffaut and Louis Malle. Edith Head did the costumes. I could hardly believe that she worked on through the 1980s, with “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid.” The fashion people were quite funny. They swallowed up Audrey. I couldn’t help thinking of “Zoolander.” One of the good sequences was the photo sessions with Audrey and Fred. I’ll always remember the scene with Audrey in the red dress. One thing I thought about was the TWA airplane with the propeller. I wondered how long it took to get to Paris from New York in one of those. I thought of “The Spirit of St. Louis” with James Stewart. Things have changed a lot since 1957. I couldn’t help laughing when Fred and Kay Thompson wore their disguises and sang “Clap Yo’ Hands.” It wasn’t original comedy, but I laughed. Was the word “bazzaz” coined by Kay Thompson’s character? When I think of Audrey Hepburn, I think of movies like “Roman Holiday,” “Sabrina,” “The Nun’s Story,” and “Charade.” I think of her as one of the last of the real movie stars. Her dance from “Funny Face” was included in a commercial a while ago. I also liked the scene in the dark room. I wondered how much Fred Astaire knew about photography. Does anyone use chemicals in photography anymore? I kept thinking about how much I liked this movie and how much I didn’t like “Into the Woods.” George and Ira Gershwin had talent for the ages. You realize how rare that kind of talent with each musical you see. I have nostalgic feelings for movies like “Funny Face,” which come from a time when entertainment was good-natured. It wasn’t trying to shock you or jolt you, or work against your expectations. We got big movie stars, good music, nice color photography, and an amusing story. In “Manhattan,” when we heard “He Loves and She Loves,” we saw Woody and Mariel Hemingway in a horse-drawn carriage. I also think of Fred and Ginger when I hear Gershwin songs. I wondered if Audrey read many books in real life. I wondered what her boss in the movie said about her dropping everything and going off to Paris. It didn’t see that she got paid her money for delivering those books. I could believe that Audrey’s character could become a popular model. She was skinny like Twiggy or Susan Dey. Jo Stockton supposed was based upon Suzy Parker, who appears in the movie, and Dick Avery was based on Richard Avedon. Audrey and Stanley Donen would work together in one of her last movies during that 1953-1967 period, “Two for the Road.” I kept thinking that I should have watched “Funny Face” on Blu-ray. I don’t know if I’ll live long enough to watch everything I want to watch in high definition. I have to get around to watching “Singin’ in the Rain” on Blu-ray. It’s hard for me to comprehend to this day that Audrey Hepburn is dead. To me, the Audrey Hepburn of “Funny Face,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” and “My Fair Lady” is still alive. George Peppard is definitely dead, however. I heard the end of the Warriors game on the radio. They managed a 15-point win over the Indiana Pacers. Looking over the football playoff schedule for this weekend, I decided that the Sunday games were more interesting than the Saturday games. I stayed up to watch Julianne Moore on the Letterman show. She said that she didn’t learn how to drive until she was 27 years old. Marv Albert showed up to give out his lifetime achievement awards. Jose Canseco made the cut, as I knew he would. I listened to some more remastered Beatles tracks and heard something at the end of “I’m Looking Through You” that I don’t think I ever heard before. Some of the people who died on January 8 include Marco Polo (1324), Galileo Galilei (1642), Terry-Thomas (1990), Yvonne De Carlo (2007), Don Galloway (2009), and Art Clokey (2010). Today is a birthday for David Bowie (68), Robby Krieger (69), Stephen Hawking (73), Yvette Mimieux (73), Bob Eubanks (77), Shirley Bassey (78), Charles Osgood (82), Ron Moody (91), and Larry Storch (91). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for January 8, The Beatles’ “Rubber Soul” reached the Number One spot on the album charts. In 1977, “You Don’t Have to Be a Star” by Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. was the Number One single. In 2007, Yvonne De Carlo, who was Lily Munster, died of heart failure at age 84.

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