Love in the Afternoon (1957) film by Billy Wilder  » Movies  »
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  • I love the lead character, Arianne, though it’s hard to find someone who could channel that charm and boldness, even I couldn’t possibly do the things she did

    • by jhunie


      Love in the Afternoon is one exceptional romantic story in the Audrey Hepburn filmography. I loved Sabrina, which was the first time Audrey and Billy Wilder had worked together on a film, so I moved on to the next. Firstly, I had the wrong impression upon looking at movie pictures online that Gary Cooper was supposed to play as Audrey’s father here. I had no idea they were lovers. Perhaps, Audrey’s role here could be the younger version of Holly Golightly, not so much in their screen profiles, but because of how she played them both, and the believable ways they emerge from their hidden secrets, then turn into strong-willed ravishing characters. Arianne is a smart girl, a sleuth who likes to read the confidential files crammed in her detective father’s desk like someone consuming the pages of a romantic novel. But her heart is practically bigger than

      her head, so she’s rather stubborn at wanting to fall in love – with the morally wrong guy. Apparently, Arianne is obsessing this man, Frank Flannagan whose wealthy status and infamous relationships had been professionally documented in her father’s files, and she aspires to immerse herself into that ill-romantic world. Her opportunity landed one time when she heard a client of her father’s planning to kill this Mr. Flannagan who was then having an affair with his wife. It all starts from there – Arianne being the life-saving emissary and Mr. Flannagan the rich playboy, as the usual.

      The story bags as the most effortless romantic tale I’ve ever seen and heard. The prevailing mood in it is all very casual and convincingly real, without any spins and tricks. It may also be considered a film about playful courtship. I love the lead character, Arianne, though it’s hard to ...

      • find someone who could channel that charm and boldness, even I couldn’t possibly do the things she did. Most of us think of love as random happenings, or destiny, but this film asserts that love is attainable – if you’ve got the wits to do it, as what Arianne did. It is purely a love story without drama. I don’t know why, but the story is almost too good to sound like a Disney fairytale of sorts.

        I like the screenplay. Billy Wilder really makes sensible scripts. He knows how the actors’ presence could amount as much as whatever sense comes out of their mouths. I especially like those afternoon dates. Some parts of the film were spent in that quaint Paris apartment and their idle talks were just as entertaining. Apart from the couple and Mr. Chavass, I love the band of gypsies. I’d love

        to have a group of musicians play and follow me around as a means of listening to disposable music. And how extremely romantic would it be to luxuriate in music while dating. I totally fell in love with the music in this film. A prominent title was “Fascination.” I even had it downloaded and every time I sit down and play it on a loop – I dream of this movie while romanticizing an afternoon such as those in the film.

        Gary Cooper as Mr. Flannagan embodies the role, though a bit flawed. What makes this odd pairing is the big generation gap between the two characters: a middle-aged bachelor and a young girl. That translates on the screen as well, if you think of a mature-looking Gary Cooper romantically involved by a waifish Audrey Hepburn. The contrast seems odd.

        If you think you’re in for a sweet romantic tale, go watch it!

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