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Movie Reviews

DVD Review: “Funny Face”

(Paramount Centennial Collection. 1957/2009. 2 Discs. Not Rated. 103 minutes. Directed by Stanley Donen.) Fred Astaire, Audrey Hepburn, Kay Thompson, Michel Auclair, Robert Flemyng, Dovina, Suzy Parker. Music by George Gershwin and others.

In the 1920s, one of Gershwin’s Broadway hits was Funny Face, starring Fred Astaire and his sister Adele. 30 years later, Paramount took the title, threw out the story and all but four songs, and attached the name to a new plot to showcase their young female star Hepburn. They even borrowed Astaire, Thompson, and other “Freed Unit” stalwarts from MGM for the project. The result is a delight, if you can adjust to the 30-year age difference between the two leads. Thompson almost steals the show as a women’s-magazine editor who along with fashion photographer Astaire, turns bookstore-clerk Hepburn into a Paris fashion model. The colors in this latest DVD release pop out at you. Plenty of extras to savor, including making-of featurettes. Coming out this month along with one of my all-time favorites in another Centennial Collection edition: Blake Edwards’ Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), starring Hepburn, George Peppard, and the great music of Henry Mancini.