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on 22 December 2015
Paris When It Sizzles is a dull and very disappointing, rather static 1964 romantic comedy; it is based on the story and 1952 French film, ‘Holiday for Henrietta’ by Julien Duvivier and Henri Jeanson. The film stars William Holden and the great Audrey Hepburn and features appearances by Noel Coward, Tony Curtis and Marlene Dietrich. Admittedly it shows promise, but I'm afraid it just does not deliver.
The story concerns a veteran playboy writer (Holden) who has been paid to write a screenplay for his boss played by Noel Coward, but he is rapidly running out of time and ideas. Hepburn plays a temporary secretary hired to quickly type the unknown script. The screenplay is intended to poke fun at the movie business, actors and studio heads.
But what to say about this film? Firstly Hepburn looks as stylish and beautiful as ever in her Hubert de Givenchy haute couture outfits, but gone is the chemistry Holden and Hepburn shared when filming 'Sabrina' in 1954. 'Paris When It Sizzles' is indeed a lightweight, frothy affair, which is intended as a madcap romantic comedy. Unfortunately, it lacks both ‘sizzle’ and sparkle. It totally falls flat in the comedy stakes, despite both star's best efforts. It's hard to identify the problem, is it the script, set, the production and direction, their on screen chemistry? Is it all five? I love Audrey Hepburn, but for me, this film is sadly not one of her best works.