Love in the Afternoon
Directed by Billy Wilder. US. 1957. NR. 130 minutes. Warner Bros. 35mm.
Sponsored by Kimberton Whole Foods
Sun., June 10, 2012
This lovely bit of romantic comedy is often considered to be Billy Wilders tribute to his idol, Ernest Lubitsch. Filmed in Paris at such settings as the Opera and the Chateau de Vitry, and featuring the charms of Audrey Hepburn and Maurice Chevalier (as her father, a French private detective, no less!) and the sophisticated comedy writing of Wilder and his long-time collaborator I.A.L. Diamond, this is a film that sparkles. Although star Gary Cooper was criticized at the time for being a bit too old to be playing a playboy philanderer, he carries the role off well. However, the elfin charms of Chevalier give the film its true Gallic flavor and often allow him to steal the show. Also, Hepburns winsome beauty and openness plays off well against Coopers maturity. As Londons Radio Times said about their relationship in this film, she humanizes and energizes him with her European vivacity. Couldnt have said it better myself. So, if youre in the mood for a touch of witty Parisian sophistication, excellent acting and beautiful settings, this is the film for you. (Bill Roth)