Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Funny Face (1957)


Image result for funny face 1957

“When I get through with you, you'll look like... What do you call beautiful? A tree. You'll look like a tree.”

            I work at a library. There is this one guy that comes in every few days and takes out quite a few movies. I would say he is in his mid-forties he is not like over fifty percent of the people that come who are well above sixty. This guy is pretty cool. He knows I like movies so we talk about the movies we have watched in the past few days since we last saw each other. I would say for the past month he has been telling me to watch Funny Face with Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn. He has been kind of raving about. Funny Face is a film I put on a mental list of films to eventually watch. I did not have high expectations for it and dragged my heels. I only really watched it because it did not run very long and not because of the guy’s ravings about it.
            Maggie Prescot is the editor for Quality Magazine. She wants something new for her magazine it is becoming stale and dull and boring. Maggie sees a role of pink fabric and decides that pink will be the color to celebrate that year. She then goes to her photographer Dick Avery (Astaire) to see what he can come up with the photograph all the pinkness. The environment of the studio is not working and neither is their model Marion for that matter.
Image result for funny face 1957
Image result for funny face 1957
Image result for funny face 1957
            By two taxies they come to an old hole-in-the-wall bookshop and barge right in to create their shoot. The only other person in the store is an employee named Jo Stockton (Hepburn). The poor girl gets pushed around and nearly panics into high gear when Maggie has her girls mess all the books up. Maggie thinks placing Jo next to Marion will be good for shoot so she grabs the girl and puts her in the frame. After the chaotic storm of the photo shoot, Dick stays behind to help Jo clean up. He likes her and kisses her before he leaves.
Image result for funny face 1957
Image result for funny face 1957
            Back at the magazine, Dick and Maggie look over the proofs of the photos. Dick likes Jo’s face. He and Maggie both think she has a funny face and think they can make it work as the new face of the magazine. They get her to come to the office where Dick manages to talk her into going to Paris with them for a while to take photos and introduce a new line from a clothing designer.
Image result for funny face 1957
Image result for funny face 1957
            Things happen, Dick falls madly in love with Jo, Jo kind of falls madly in love with Dick, something stupid happens that makes them both mad at each other, he has to win her back for his sake and for the sake of the magazine, Jo thinks things over and comes to an epiphany, and the two come together happily ever after.
            I am not a fan of Audrey Hepburn. I have watched a number of her films some of which I have come to own. She was not a terrible actress but there is something about her I cannot get into. I did not really like Hepburn in this film. Maybe it was the character, maybe it was the way she was playing the character I do not know. Fred Astaire really does nothing for me either. He is the type of actor that I do like but I will only really sit through is films if there is an actress in it with him that I really like (ex. All his films with Ginger Rogers I will watch because I love and adore Ginger).  Astaire is obviously a great dancer I do not think there is one dance number I have seen him in that I did not like. I loved the number Dick danced with Maggie at a beatnik party. The actress who played Maggie was fantastic she was amazing in the way she kept right in sync with Astaire.
            I love photography. In the opening credit there are a series of photographs of the model Dovima (who plays the model Marion) and another model Suzy Parker. I nearly fell on the floor in a fit of excitement when I saw in the credits that the photographs were by Richard Avedon. Avedon is one of the reasons why I love photography so much. A few years ago I saw an exhibit of his works at the International Center of Photography in New York City. His photographs are pure class, pure amusement, and pure fun. Dovima and Suzy Parker seem to have been two of Avedon’s muses. They were beautiful and perfect for the setting Avedon created. He captured their elegance but also their normality. Simply put Parker and Dovima looked like goddess of fashion yet they appeared to be approachable. I highly, highly suggest looking up Avedon’s work especially his photographs with Dovima and Parker and also looking up each model.
Dovima with Elephants by Richard Avedon, 1955. This is one of Avedon's most famous photographs and one of the most iconic in photographic history

Suzy Parker and Robin Tattersall, Place de la Concorde, Paris by Richard Avedon, 1957. This photograph is one of the reasons why I fell in love with Avedon's photos. 

            Seriously, I was so bored with Funny Face. The story to Funny Face was alright and the songs are not really that memorable, well to me they were not. I really did not have any expectations going into this film even though the guy from the library constantly talked it up. I keep my expectations low for Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn films. I only suggest watching Funny Face if you are a fan of either Fred Astaire or Audrey Hepburn.

            Image result for funny face 1957