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Plumcake’s Glammy Movies: Part The First (also a rant) | Manolo for the Big Girl

Plumcake’s Glammy Movies: Part The First (also a rant)

First of all, you’re not going to find “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” on this list. Yes, Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly is a delight to look at and the chicest example of that old hooker with a heart of gold chestnut, but voluntarily pseudo-helpless women –no matter how good they look in Givenchy– bore me to tears. Holly Golightly lacks inner resources and what’s more I firmly believe her character is directly responsible for the popularity of those loathsome “Return to Tiffany’s” heart and toggle gewgaws which are so tacky as to provoke in me the most violent and unrestrained of purple fits.

Funny FaceOh, and don’t get me started on the girls who run around in the most ridiculously large sunglasses because it makes them “feel like Holly Golightly.” Hepburn’s signature shades were plain old Ray-Ban Wayfarers.

Still, I suspect my beloved readers would attack stately Château Gâteau –by which I mean my apartment (we take the wide view on châteaux here at Manolo for the Big Girl)– with pitchforks and blunderbusses (blunderbi?) were I to exclude all Audrey Hepburn flicks from this list.

It is thus with an eye to the sanctity of my already high renter’s insurance premiums that I offer unto you “Funny Face.” Released in 1957 and starring Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire, it’s essentially an extremely fast and loose biography of photographer Richard Avedon —-Astaire’s character is Dick Avery— with a handful Gershwin tunes and Givenchy thrown in for good measure.

The real treasure of this little flick is Kay Thompson who gives a fantastic send-up of Harper’s Bazaar editor and glorious wackdoodle Diana Vreeland. Her imitation is brilliant, from her constant use of “pizzazz” to DV’s signature hunchbacked ballerina posture. In fact, the best line in the film –and a valuable life lesson to boot—comes in right after the first number, “Think Pink” (click to watch it on Youtube) where La Thompson admonishes the women of the world to wear nothing but –you guessed it—pink.

One of the honchos exclaims that her campaign is a triumph and that he hasn’t seen a woman in anything but pink for weeks. “

What about you?” he asks as he eyes her in her charcoal suit.

“Me?” she says “I wouldn’t be caught dead.”

14 Responses to “Plumcake’s Glammy Movies: Part The First (also a rant)”

  1. Monica the tiara chick May 6, 2008 at 7:57 pm #

    “Funny Face” is one of my all-time favorite movies. My personal favorite line is when Audrey as Jo Stockton is trying to explain Empathicalism while the model vamps next to her, and finally she turns to the model and says in the coldest horror, “What ARE you doing?”

  2. Twistie May 6, 2008 at 8:57 pm #

    A world all in pink? I wouldn’t be caught dead, either! LOL! Of course, this could have something to do with the fact that if I try to wear pink, I pretty much look like I’m in an advanced state of jaundice. It’s virtually the only color I can’t pull off well, but it kills my complexion.

    You can imagine my delight when my sister-in-law chose dusty rose bridesmaid’s dresses…but at least it was inexpensive. Besides, it was one day.

    But that was the absolute last time I’ve worn anything pink at all, and it was nearly twenty-two years ago.

  3. maryb May 6, 2008 at 9:26 pm #

    I love Funny Face, too, but I love the way Audrey Hepburn looks in the beginning, in her beatnik black, more than I love her in the haute couture.

  4. JaneC May 6, 2008 at 11:25 pm #

    Funny Face has been one of my favorites for a long time. The “Think Pink” number is fabulous, but my favorite part is when Astaire and Thompson sneak into Professor Flostre’s house party by pretending to be folk singers from “Tallahaaaaaaaassee.”

  5. Chaser May 7, 2008 at 1:18 am #

    Neither of the characters in Breakfast have a lot of inner resources. They’re lost people. I thought that was the point.

    There are three films of Audrey’s where she just looks spectacular. Of course Funny Face is a lovely film, but whoever dressed her for My Fair Lady did a fantastic job. Her outfit for the embassy ball is the apotheosis of exquisite.

    For some reason, I think Givenchy did a nice job for her and her clothes in Two for the Road. There is a lot of charm in that movie, too.

    Then, Charade. She’s a bit helpless there, but she’s accessorized with Cary Grant. What’s not to love?

  6. Chiken May 7, 2008 at 3:58 pm #

    Funny Face is a good movie, but I could never get over the age difference between Astaire and Hepburn. It makes the love story angle completely unbelievable.

  7. deja pseu May 7, 2008 at 5:25 pm #

    I’m with Chiken on the ridiculous love story angle, but damn, some gorgeous clothes and scenery of Paris in that movie!

  8. Twistie May 7, 2008 at 7:31 pm #

    Chiken and deja pseu, my grandfather was a year older than his mother-in-law, and my grandparents had a long, happy marriage and two children (my father and aunt) who turned out pretty darn well. My grandfather even lived long enough to meet all of his grandchildren. It might not be for everyone, but some May/December romances really do work out well.

  9. dcsurfergirl May 7, 2008 at 9:48 pm #

    I agree with Chaser. Those two characters were dealing with bad decisions they made with what resources they had–not much.

    I am going to have to agree to disagree with you, Plumcake, about “Return to Tiffany” jewelry. I own the bracelet, the ring and the heart earrings. The bracelet is my favorite because it looks pretty nice on my less-than-delicate wrist. Enjoy your purple fit.

  10. rabrab May 7, 2008 at 11:18 pm #

    The age thing doesn’t bother me, either. Probably because my dearly bewildered is thirty years my senior. We’re celebrating our 16th anniversary this year. Sometimes age doesn’t matter.

  11. Ash May 8, 2008 at 12:46 am #

    I love Hepburn but hate this movie. It’s the whole premise that you can “fix” a smart girl by just taking off her glasses and getting her a boyfriend and some pretty clothes. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

  12. Chiken May 8, 2008 at 12:20 pm #

    I certainly didn’t mean to imply that May-December romances don’t work — of course they do, in many instances!

    There’s no escaping the fact, however, that Audrey was 28 and Fred was 58 when the film debuted in 1957. The movie makes no mention of the 30 year age gap, which I (perhaps incorrectly) assumed was for the benefit Astaire’s vanity. (“No, no, Fred, you can still play 30 years old, no problem!”) The way that plays out in my head is really hilarious to me.

  13. bronxbee May 8, 2008 at 2:36 pm #

    i saw the movie as a kid, and remember more being the really glamorous shots of paris locales. my favorite scene was the one where they are shooting in the Louvre right in front of Winged Victory and Hepburn runs down the stairs with her stole flying behind her like the wings. it made such an impression that Winged Victory was one of the 4 things i managed to see on a flying visit through the Louvre. i posted about it here http://www.thebonnieblackfaerie.com/2008/05/the_worlds_most_famous_paintin.html, complete with a screen shot of Audrey on the steps.

  14. bonnie-ann black May 8, 2008 at 2:39 pm #

    i saw the movie Funny Face as a kid, and remember the glamour shots of Paris and the photography set ups more than the May/December romance thing… my favorite scene was Audrey running down the steps at the Louvre in front of Winged Victory, with her red stole flying out behind her like wings. the scene made such an impression that Winged Victory was one of the 4 things i made a point of seeing on a flying visit through the Louvre. i posted about it here:

    http://www.thebonnieblackfaerie.com/2008/05/the_worlds_most_famous_paintin.html

    complete with screen shot of AH running down the steps.