Paramount Pictures | Release Date: June 29, 2012
7.3
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Generally favorable reviews based on 6 Ratings
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7
SpangleApr 14, 2017
A light, cute, and funny musical romantic comedy, director Stanley Donen's Funny Face is a charmer, even if it is never excellent. With good music, strong performances, and smart comedy along the way, Funny Face may be skinnier than AudreyA light, cute, and funny musical romantic comedy, director Stanley Donen's Funny Face is a charmer, even if it is never excellent. With good music, strong performances, and smart comedy along the way, Funny Face may be skinnier than Audrey Hepburn when it comes to plot, but as is always the case with musicals, it makes up for it with only-in-the-movies moments as the characters dance, sing, and fall in love in the most romantic of fashions. Though perhaps criminally underwritten with the perplexing casting of Audrey Hepburn as an unconventionally attractive girl who loves philosophy and is chosen as the face of a new catalog (who the hell thinks she has a "funny face"?), the film is still a nice and breezy mix of love and song with Paris in the backdrop, as well as audacious dresses and styles.

Audrey Hepburn, even if not meeting the spirit of the role due to not having a funny face, is a perfect match for a musical. Capturing the buoyancy and frenetic energy, as well as the innocence and perfection necessary for such a romanticized genre, Hepburn was born to be in musicals. The only shortcoming is that she simply cannot sing, though she tries her hardest and makes up for it with her natural charm and comedic delivery when the moment calls for either. Additionally, her frantic dancing is both choreographed well and performed well by her, showcasing that incomparable essence that she has in all of her films. Of course, this state of being is only bolstered by the endless stream of high-end dresses she wears in this film that merely hints at the fashion icon should would become a few years later in Breakfast at Tiffany's. With how many of her films I have seen recently, it may get tedious to keep reading me gush about her, but she is impossible to look away from. No matter the film, she is always the highlight of it by simply being herself. It is astounding to watch. Her charms, wit, and acting ability elevate every film she touches and, along with it, brings an indescribable presence that makes even the most mundane material seem entirely fresh and unique.

Her magnetism is matched by that of the film itself with it defining why I do love musicals. Though Funny Face may be too thinly written and too sugary sweet to really work entirely, its terrific staging and use of the set is always exemplary. Scenes of Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn dancing with Hepburn's Jo Stockton wearing a wedding dress, only for them to step on a raft that seamlessly carries them to the other side of the creek are rapturously gorgeous. This sort of fantastical inclusion shows the beauty of the romance, but also the romanticism of the genre itself. It never strives to be real, instead opting to create an other worldly and fantastical appeal as we see an endless stream of moments that can only be defined as movie magic. This is a film unashamed to be made on a set that constantly reminds you it is not real and more akin to a dream than reality. Musicals constantly remind me of hyperreality and postmodernism for this reason as they exist in a world that exists, but the approach and use of that world is always beyond real world definitions. This embracing of the dream world and hyping up of the love between Jo and Dick Avery (Astaire) creates an undeniable magic and swell of emotion that can only truly be felt in a musical. It may be entirely cheesy and too sweet, while also having no basis in what is real, but is undeniably entertaining and wholly moving.

Yet, none of that beauty or acceptable detours into the set and the world of the film would be possible without excellent music. With lyrics by Ira Gerswhin and music by George Gerswhin, Funny Face features a rendition of the excellent "'S Wonderful" with Astaire and Hepburn on the vocals that may not be as good as Gene Kelly's take in An American in Paris, but is certainly charming nonetheless. Alongside that terrific song are songs such as "Funny Face" that really speak to the romantic side of the film. Sung by Dick to Jo on two occasions, the song speaks to how he loves her no matter how funny her face may seem to others. To him, she is beautiful because she has a funny face. A touching song that elegantly sung by Astaire on both occasions, the song is also met by excellent choreography that captures the elegance and simple beauty of the film by never becoming too over-the-top and instead favoring more intimate and down to Earth dance sequences. Songs such as "Bonjour, Paris!" may be a little too sweet and romantic about Paris for some, but plays quite well in how it captures the excitement and joy of arriving in a city of dreams such as Paris with all three characters - Dick, Jo, and fashion magazine president Maggie Prescott (Kay Thompson) - all exuberantly singing about their sheer joy at being in Paris.
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6
MathrouzaudDec 27, 2014
Relaxing album, perhaps repetitive because jazz's jazz, always same sounds and rhythm but forced to agree with its distressing power. Fred Astaire is and'll be for long a legend
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