Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
"I love your funny face! Your sunny, funny face!"
M. Hart | USA | 01/09/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1957, Paramount produced a very enjoyable musical comedy called "Funny Face", directed by Stanley Donen, and to the music of George Gershwin, Adolph Deutsch, Roger Edens and Leonard Gershe. With a simple plot, the film begins in New York City within the offices of the major fashion magazine named "Quality". Its president, Maggie Prescott (Kay Thompson), is determined to find a new way to promote the magazine. In a moment of inspiration, she comes up with the slogan "Think pink," and breaks into song praising the color pink and saying that everything (from women's clothing, soap, furniture, etc.) must be pink. Of course, she "wouldn't be caught dead" in it.Moving on to another magazine project, Maggie wants to find the perfect spot to photograph one of the magazine's models named Marion (Dovima, who was a major fashion model in the 1950's working closely with photographer Richard Avedon. This was her only film.). An assistant suggests that they go to a bookstore in Greenwich Village to create an intellectual atmosphere. Maggie, Marion, a host of Maggie's staff all in pink and the magazines head photographer, Dick Avery (Fred Astaire), force their way into a dingy, but quiet, bookstore along with all of their equipment. A store employee, Jo Stockton (Audrey Hepburn) protests the uninvited intrusion vehemently, but the "Quality" magazine army locks her out of the store to work undisturbed. After several hours, the "Quality" mob vacates, but the books and store are left in a shambles for Jo to clean up. Dick offers his help to clean the store, but Jo refuses. After Dick leaves, Jo proceeds to sing another wonderful song in the film, "How Long Has This Been Going On?"Maggie decides that "Quality" must find a real "Quality woman" to represent the magazine and it isn't Marion. When Dick develops the photos taken at the bookstore, Jo is in one of them. He suggests to Maggie that Jo could be the woman that they need, but Maggie has her doubts. To lure Jo to the "Quality" offices, they order a large number of books and want them delivered. Jo arrives hours later with a pile of books and is accosted by Maggie's staff who want to redress her in preparation for a photo shoot. Jo escapes and hides in Dick's dark room. They talk and he sings to her another of the film's title song, "Funny Face". Jo completely disagrees with everything that "Quality" magazine represents; she believes in "empathicalism", a philosophy that rejects all material things, as described by her idol, Professor Emile Flostre, who lives in Paris. When Jo is told that the "Quality woman" photo shoot and a fashion show will be done in Paris, she reluctantly agrees to be the model since it will give her the opportunity to meet Prof. Flostre.The film continues in Paris where Jo models many clothes designed by Givenchy and a romance between her and Dick Avery develops. Jo finally gets the opportunity to meet Prof. Flostre (Michel Auclair), but will he meet Jo's expectations? Will the romance between Jo and Dick survive the photo shoot and meeting Prof. Flostre? Does Maggie get to produce the Paris fashion show of your dreams? You'll just have to watch this very entertaining film to find out!The songs in the film include:* "Think Pink" 5/5, Kay Thompson. A fast, snappy & whimsical song.
* "How Long Has This Been Going On?" 5/5, A blues song sung by Audrey Hepburn at the bookstore.
* "Funny Face" 5/5, Fred Astaire. A charming song.
* "Bonjour Paris" 5/5, Fred Astaire, Audrey Hepburn, Kay Thompson. A fun song filmed at various locations in Paris.
* "He Loves and She Loves" 4.5/5 Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astair. Filmed at Le Château de la Reine Blanche in Coye-la-Forêt with Audrey Hepburn modeling a wedding dress.
* "How To Be Lovely" 5/5, Kay Thompson and Audrey Hepburn. A fun & gutsy song.
* "Basal Metabolism" 4.5/5, A blues song that Audrey Hepburn dances to in a bistro.
* "Clap Yo' Hands" 5/5, A fun, melodramatic blues song sung by Fred Astaire and Kay Thompson to sneak into the bistro. (a.k.a. "Ring-a Them Bells")
* "Let's Kiss and Make Up" 4.5/5 Fred Astaire. A love song sung again at Le Château de la Reine Blanche.
* "'S Wonderful" 5/5, Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire. Another love song sung at Le Château de la Reine Blanche.Some may think that "Funny Face" is nothing more than fluff, but it was produced to entertain with color, fashion, music, dance and comedy and it does so very well. The acting, singing and dancing from Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire and Kay Thompson is quite good and I rate "Funny Face" with 5 out of 5 stars. If you're primarily interested in Oscar-winning dramas, "Funny Face" may disappoint you; but if you enjoy light-hearted musicals and like to laugh, then you'll probably be very entertained with this fun film!"
"Let's give 'em the old bizzazz!"
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 08/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"FUNNY FACE is one of the most enjoyable and delightful of Hollywood musicals. Featuring an immortal George & Ira Gershwin score ("He Loves and She Loves", "S'Wonderful", "Let's Kiss and Make Up", "How Long Has This Been Going On?"); the smartly-written screenplay by Leonard Gershe also marks this film with a strong storyline. I've yet to meet anyone who doesn't like this movie.
When Quality Magazine invades a pokey Greenwich Village bookstore for a photo shoot, it's the "dowdy intellectual shopgirl" Jo Stockton (Audrey Hepburn) who gets unwittingly discovered. Photographer Dick Avery (Fred Astaire) finds something special in this "funny face" and jets her off to Paris as the new model for Quality's beauty campaign. Of course love comes knocking for Jo and Dick, but not before some marvelous songs have been sung, and showstopping dances have been performed.
Kay Thompson steals the entire movie as the deadpan magazine editor Maggie Prescott. She gets things off to a cracking start with "Think Pink", traipses all over the streets of Paris with "Bonjour Paree"; and also gets a kooky 11 o'clock beatnik routine, "Clap Yo' Hands" (with Astaire). The character of Prescott is a thinly-veiled caricature of noted fashion editor Diana Vreeland; whilst Astaire's role is modelled after photographer Richard Avedon. Fans of "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" should keep an eye out for former brides' Virginia Gibson and Ruta Lee, reunited here as two of Prescott's assistants.
Audrey Hepburn's early ballet and dance training came in handy with making FUNNY FACE, her "Basal Metabolism" routine is spectacular (and she sings quite well too). Filmed on location in Paris, the entire movie definitely has the proper European Travelogue feel to it.
This 50th Anniversary Edition of FUNNY FACE will feature a brand-new High Definition transfer of the movie, some great new featurettes ("The Fashion Designer & His Muse", "Parisian Dreams"), plus the material from the previous DVD release ("Paramount in the '50s" featurette, a photo gallery and the trailer)."
Bobby Underwood | Manly NSW, Australia | 08/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Audrey Hepburn does indeed fill the air with smiles in Stanley Donen's exquisite and happy film about a shy book clerk in New York who is transformed into the toast of the Paris fashion world. George and Ira Gershwin wrote some of their best songs for the film and a few additional numbers were contributed by Roger Edens and Leonard Gershe, who also wrote the delightful story. The premise is quite frivilous but the execution glorious and joyful and it is easy to see why this was Audrey's favorite among all her films.
Fred Astaire is winning as fashion photographer Dick Avery and Kay Thompson is marvelous as Miss Prescott, the one-track mind owner of Quality Magazine he works for. Hepburn is adorable as the shy New York bookstore clerk, Jo Stockton. They bully her into letting them do a photo shoot, making a mess off things for her to clean up. From the moment Donen's camera catches her sliding on the ladder in panic we are in love and we know it won't be long before Jo and Dick are also.
Jo is a shy intellectual, mad about empathicalism, a screwy philosophy endorsed by Professor Emile Flustre (Michel Auclair) who, of course, lives in Paris. Once Dick displays his own brand of empathy by kissing Jo while they are cleaning up, he gets an idea for a new layout and the seed of love is planted in Jo's heart. Donen captures Hepburn's child-like yet feminine grace like no one else ever has and her wistful and waif-like beauty has never been seen to better advantage than in Funny Face.
Making Jo the face for Quality magazine may not be such an easy task, however, as it goes against everything she believes. Being chased by Miss Prescott's minions, Jo ducks into Dick's darkroom, where she and Dick share a lovely song and dance moment to the title-tune, Funny Face. Once Jo discovers it will all lead to Paris, where she can meet the great empathicalist, Emile, she gives the green light and the fun really begins.
Stanley Donen staged every song himself, and it shows. That moment that nearly always exists in every musical, even the great ones, when we are tempted to fast-forward and get on with the story, simply does not exist here. Every number is lively and imaginative, easily holding our interest. None of the numbers is more joyful or fun than the one when they first arrive in Paris and become typical tourists. Ray June's photography shows off the beautiful City of Lights and the funny and happy face of Audrey Hepburn in wonderful fashion.
It is like watching a great chef make the sweetest and most delicious of pastries as Dick takes Jo through one great shoot after another all over Paris, transforming the cocoon into a butterfly. The two share a lovely song sequence in a garden with a brook outside a church, when Jo finally tells Dick she is in love with him. Hepburn in a white wedding gown is as elegant and graceful as the doves and swans surrounding them.
There are some fun complications involving Jo's idol Emile, of course, who Dick knows is more man than philosopher. A fun and frantic ending caps a film that is a sheer delight from beginning to end. Astaire was somewhat older than Hepburn and it seems to work in the film's favor, as you could see where the innocent Jo would need a more worldly man to appreciate her charms rather than take advantage of them.
This is a wonderful confection from Stanley Donen, who would work with Audrey once again in another classic, Charade. The little girl from Holland who aided the Dutch resistence during WWII grew into one of the most lovely and luminous stars ever to grace a movie screen. She is gone now and Funny Face is a wonderful way to remember her......"