Friday, December 26, 2014

Movie review - "Made in Paris" (1966) ** (warning: spoilers)

This was produced by Joe Pasternak who made many similar movies with weak plots for MGM about girls getting up to madcap adventures on the back lot with plenty of colour, movement and clothes... but those films tended to be musicals. This does have Ann Margaret do a great dance number in the middle and she sings a song with Louis Jourdan - but, bizarrely, it isn't really a musical; it's done as a comedy with a song and a dance inserted in it.

They should have gone the whole hog and made it a musical. Actually there's a few things this movie should have done - had more of a transformation for Ann Margaret (they hint she's meant to be mousy girl who gets liberated, but she's pretty liberated to start off with); had a stronger love story (they throw up three suitors for her - the boss' son Chad Everett, fashion designer Louis Jourdan, and hard bitten reporter Richard Crenna - but we never really spend any time with her and one of them); given Ann Margaret a confidante.

Ann Margaret didn't really have the chops to carry a movie like this on her shoulders - to be fair, it would have been hard for someone like Doris Day. All the male leads are poor - Jourdan as a fashion designer who we are constantly told is butch, Crenna's masculinity is emphasised as well but he doesn't have any real character to play (and I kept wondering why he was even in the film), Chad Everett smells of television and is never given any time to establish rapport with Ann Margaret (the basis of his attraction to her is apparently she won't put out). Their reunion at the end is astonishingly unconvincing - actually she doesn't have chemistry with anyone.

There are some pretty clothes which are given lots and lots of screen time. But that's not basis enough for a movie.

No comments: