In Funny Face, Dick Avery (Fred Astaire) is a photographer for a fashion magazine who
discovers Jo Stockton (Audrey Hepburn) a philosophical bookstore clerk who's store is
turned upside by an impromptu photo shoot for Avery's magazine. Avery feels that
has just the face that is needed to take his magazine in a new direction, and
coaxes a reluctant Stockton to give modeling a try with the promise of a trip to Paris
for the photo shoot. Once the modeling begins in Paris, Stockton not only
discovers that she's a natural for it but that she enjoys it as well.
Before too long, the fashion photographer finds himself falling for his charming
and intellectual model. Paris is, after all, for lovers.
Funny Face is a fun and light-hearted film, although a big part of that is
due to the presence of Astaire and Hepburn. Astaire is his usual debonair
self and has ample opportunity to display his considerable talent for dancing,
which is even more impressive considering that he was close to 60 at the time
the movie was filmed. Hepburn is quite charming and is well-suited to the
role of an intellectual as well as beautiful and photogenic woman. There are a
few things which took a little luster off of the film for me, not the least of
which was that I didn't find any of the songs in this musical to be all that
memorable or catchy. Also, the romance between Avery and Stockton felt somewhat
forced considering how different the two characters are and the fact that
Astaire was literally twice the age of Hepburn when the film was made.
Lastly, the message that a woman is better off just standing around looking
beautiful than actively pursuing her intellectual interests struck me as a bit
dated and sexist. Overall, though, the film is lighthearted and the
dancing memorable, and the film is worth viewing by anyone looking for some
escapist fare courtesy of Astaire and Hepburn.
This release of the film is part of Paramount's Centennial Collection, and
features an extensive collection of special features on a second DVD.
There's a retrospective on co-star Kay Thompson who plays the fashion magazine's
editor, an interesting piece on the VistaVision technology introduced in the
1950s and used to film Funny Face. Also included is a collection are
features on the history of fashion photography and fashion design. It's an
extensive list of well-produced features and it complements the film quite