Sunday, March 27, 2011

Richmond When It SIzzles

Of course I felt guilty going to see a cheesy Hollywood version of a love story set in Paris when the French Film Festival is going on.

Standing in line to buy my ticket, I was admiring the ultra-cool steel-trimmed boots on one of the guys in front of me; the other was dressed like a vintage 1960s mod-ster.

All of a sudden, Boots turned around and we recognized each other. He's the big-voiced lead singer of a band I'd seen not long ago.

A musician at an 11:00 movie? I had to ask what he'd come for. "Paris When It Sizzles," he said, eliciting an enthusiastic "yes!" from me.

I mentioned my French Film Fest guilt and he agreed. "But I may go later to see that Hitler film," he said by way of compensation. "And I was going to try to see the documentary." I told him. Now we both felt better about indulging our guilty pleasure of a morning.

And it was shamefully cheesy, but the 1964 movie had a few things to redeem it. The opening scene with, of all people, Noel Coward playing the movie producer role, was a sky shot on the Cap d'Antibes down to a fantastical hotel resort with movie types dictating memos to girls in bikinis.

There were loads of inside jokes about actors, Method acting, movie making, cliched scripts and new wave French film. So that was fun. There was a screen credit for the perfume Hepburn wore in the movie; when I saw my first purse credit, I thought I'd seen the ultimate in credits, but no. Credit for something unseen.

A movie geek friend had told me that William Holden and Audrey Hepburn had had an affair years before when they'd made "Sabrina" together and that he was still in love with her when making this movie. Watching the movie, there was something about his looks and interaction with her that seemed especially intimate and I guess that was why.

He wooed her with a meal of prosciutto -wrapped Persian melon, foie gras, Dover sole cooked in champagne and butter and ending with strawberries in cream but also including martinis, red and white wine and brandy, a meal that would work on plenty of women I'm sure.

Hepburn's character had come to Paris "to live," as she put it, spending the first six months doing a study of depravity and rarely getting to bed before 8 in the morning.

And here I was thinking I was pushing the envelope. I feel positively virtuous about my 3 a.m. bedtimes. Not to mention that my study is entering its third year; hers lasted a mere six months.



  1. I see now that you take assignments from NO ONE! Well done!

  2. Did I seem that easy to direct?

    Thanks. Like A+ well done?

  3. I wasn't being patronizing! *sigh* I can't WIN!

  4. I didn't think you were. Don't sigh.

    I was teasing you, hoping that you would smile when you read my response. I laughed out loud when I read yours!