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Funny Face (SE)
DVD disk
02.02.2009 By: Sturdy
Funny Face (SE) order
Director:
Stanley Donen

Actors:
Audrey Hepburn
Fred Astaire
Kay Thompson

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A high-energy fashion magazine editor and a famous photographer stumble upon a free-spirited, shy girl working at a book store. Enamored with her “funny” face, they decide to make her the featured model at their magazine. She agrees and soon she’s swept off to Paris, France where she finds herself and her love.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
FUNNY FACE is a golden-era Hollywood film. It’s big on production, style, musical numbers and features an all-star cast led by the beautiful Audrey Hepburn. When current stars like Clooney and Zellweger say they want to make a movie like they used to, this is the kind of film they were talking about. But as impressive as the grandness of the film is, I can’t say I enjoyed the film once the shiny layers were pulled back.

First and foremost, in order for a musical to be enjoyable, it must have good music. It has to have catchy songs that make you want to jump up and sing, or at least provoke an emotion of some sort. All of the great musicals have those kind of songs and if you start thinking about them, you’ll probably get them stuck in your head. But FUNNY FACE is the exception. I watched the film last night and I can’t even hum a song from the movie, including the titular song that was sung more than once. The music is subpar all around, even if it is performed by some of the all time great screen legends.

If you asked me to come up with a word to describe Audrey Hepburn’s face, I would say; beautiful, perfect, impeccable, mesmerizing or any other word I could think of to describe the most beautiful woman to ever appear on film (in my humble opinion). However, “funny” would not be one of them. I realize it wasn’t meant to be insulting, but it’s a problem with the film nonetheless. I also could never buy into her relationship with Fred Astaire. He should be giving her away at a wedding, not actually marrying her. There was zero chemistry there, but hey, it’s a musical, so I guess it doesn’t matter.

Hepburn is one of my favorite actresses of all time and the movie is worth watching for her performance alone. She shows a lot of range and character here that she doesn’t show in some of her other films. Astaire is also charming and he gives us a few nice dance numbers, although I have no idea why he did a bull-fighting themed dance while in France. However, overall I found the film to be a bit dull despite the big production and big name stars.
THE EXTRAS
Kay Thompson: Think Pink! (26:33): Liza Minnelli’s Godmother gets her own featurette and they go through her accomplishments in film, radio and theater. It’s a nice look at the golden age of Hollywood and the way things were, but it gets a little slow with too much praise for Thompson. She was an amazing woman, but I can only hear that so many times before I’m sick of it.

This is Vista Vision (24:38): Vista Vision is the name of the process studios used to separate films from television and to make them look bigger and better. It’s amazing how far movies have come since this, but I can imagine this was a huge deal back in the day.

Fashion Photographers Exposed (17:57): There was a photo shoot with a Funny Face theme and this looks at that shoot. It didn’t have a whole lot to do with the film, but they did talk a little about the photographer Astaire’s character was based on. I didn’t realize his character was based in reality, so it was nice to learn a little about him.

Fashion Designer and His Muse (8:06): This is about the designer that dressed Hepburn in this film and others. It’s a glowing tribute to Hepburn and her fashion sense, but it was cool to see that one guy worked with her on several occasions.

Parisian Dreams (7:36): This is a nice featurette, although a little unnecessary. It looks at the city of Paris and the effect it had on the film as its own “character”. I didn’t really get that from the film, so I couldn’t buy into the featurette, but they did show some cool photos from the set.

Paramount in the 50’s (9:31): I really enjoyed this look at all the classic Paramount films of the 50’s. It shows clips of all and takes you through the films. It’s kind of like an Oscar montage without the waiting.

There are some Previews , a Photo Gallery
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
This is definitely a nice DVD with some nicer special features. Fans of the film should be pleased with set and the attention Paramount has given one of its classic musicals. But newcomers to the film might want to give it a rental before running out and buying it.
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