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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Love In The Afternoon (1957)

Set in Paris, the young daughter (Audrey Hepburn) of a private detective (Maurice Chevalier) becomes personally involved with one of his cases when a cuckolded husband (John McGiver) threatens to shoot his wife's (Lise Bourdin) lover (Gary Cooper). Based on the novel ARIANE, JEUNE FILLE RUSSE by Claude Anet and directed by Billy Wilder, this film would seem to have everything going for it. Three top stars, Wilder at the helm and the city of Paris as the backdrop. But while often charming, the lack of chemistry between the aging Cooper (one isn't sure if he looks ill or debauched) and the fresh faced Hepburn prevents the movie from accomplishing its goal. Namely, an airy and light souffle of a romantic comedy. Reputedly, Yul Brynner was Wilder's first choice (along with Cary Grant) and I don't know if the chemistry would be any better but at least he was age appropriate. It's not a bad movie by any means and for fans of the divine Audrey, there's much to appreciate but it's simply a disappointment overall. In fact, I much prefer a similar film from 1958, Stanley Donen's INDISCREET with Grant and Ingrid Bergman which gets it right.  

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