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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!