Created by Claude Anet
Maurice Chevalier as a P.I.? Mais oui!
The frothy 1957 comedy Love in the Afternoon is supposedly director Billy Wilder's tribute to his idol, Ernst Lubitsch, but it's really all about Audrey Hepburn, who stars as Ariane, a naive young Parisian cellist.
Maurice Chevalier stars as her father, CLAUDE CHAVASSE, an entertaining blend of loving father and wisecracking, seen-it-all, hard-bitten private eye who nonetheless can't see what's happening with his beloved daughter right under his own eyes.
What is happening is that she's slowly falling in love with a much older man. It all begins when Ariane overhears one of her father's clients plotting to shoot Frank Flannagan, a millionaire American playboy, (played by Gary Cooper, decidedly past his prime). She rushes off to his hotel to warn the old lech and they soon become involved. Cooper falls for her, but hard, unaware that her father has been hired to get the goods on him.
This is romance with a capital R, all sly innuendo, head-spinning coincidences and head-thumping complications, clever repartee and seductive imagery (not to mention gypsies and Swedish twins), clever sight gags, enough tossaway lines and fully developed secondary characters to fill a second film, and enough gorgeous black and white cinematography of the streets of Paris to simply take your breath away.
But best of all is Audrey in arguably one of her finest films.
Champagne pour tous?
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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