Confession time: I usually write my reviews in batches. A few here, a few there so I don’t have to worry if I will have time during a particular day to get a review done or a movie watched. Just when I have time for these things, because they usually take a huge chunk of my life to figure them out. Not that I am complaining, I love writing these reviews and watching a ton of movies. But every once in a while I get stuck on what to say about a movie I recently watched and I put it off. I put them off for days, weeks and even a month, like the case of this movie. And it usually a film that I liked just fine, but don’t have any strong opinions about. A movie that is just meh are always the hardest to write about. That is what Funny Face is for me: meh.
Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire star together in this musical about the high-end fashion industry. Fred Astaire plays Dick Avery, a fashion photographer who creates iconic images but is bored by the superficiality of the industry. Audrey Hepburn plays Jo Stockton who is a frumpy (yeah right, like Hepburn could ever truly pull off frumpy) intellectual whose book store gets invaded by Dick and his team for a fashion shoot. Jo is not a girl who cares about fashion. Instead she prefers philosophy. Dick finds her irresistable and recruits her for a gimmick shoot in Paris where a fashion designer designs a whole collection around a normal girl (Haha. Hepburn normal. Yeah right.) She agrees to go so she can meet her idol philosopher. Shenanigans ensue and romantic possibilities open up.
By this point in Fred Astaire’s career, he seemed to be tired. He no longer dominated the picture with his dancing (because he was getting old, although his solo dances here are still quite impressive), and he seems to be a zombie doing just enough so as not to get kicked off of the picture. Hepburn by contrast is enthusiastic about her role and it shows. She is able to throw herself full force into the character, but there is one issue that arrises when paired up with Fred Astaire: whether or not you can dance. The answer to this non existent question is she cannot. One of the most awkward scenes is when she does movement dance through a bar. She just sort of lurches around and calls it good. It is just as hard to watch as someone getting bloodily slaughtered in a horror film. And then to compound matters, Astaire can dance circles around Hepburn, even in his old age. So the chemistry supposed to be found on the dance floor is shouldered by the dialogue which I have to admit is pretty good. Given the charm of Kay Thompson thrown into the mix and we got a dull movie with some genius moments. So in other words, meh.