Monday, June 25, 2012

Love in the Afternoon...

"I suppose most women are sentimental about the first men they love. I suppose, that is, unless they own high heel shoes." 

I was flipping through the channels this week, in what's been a very tough week. It sort of seems like the punches just keep coming from work and personal life situations. (Insert lame excuse for blog absenteeism. Now enough of being maudlin.) I was flipping through the TV channels and stopped on a local broadcast station because this 1957 Hepburn classic was on. Love in the Afternoon is probably one of my favorite Audrey Hepburn films and it made me long for romance past. Even the way Gary Cooper speaks to Hepburn in this film is so lovely. Why don't we use words anymore? Where have all the wonderful words gone? 

I was also really surprised by how progressive the film was for its time. If you've seen it, you know that the film centers itself around the idea that women and men can happily embrace a lifestyle of anti-monogamous affairs. Gary Cooper's character, Mr. Flannigan, is a man about town whose sordid affairs are countless. In order to avoid feeling inept at the age of about 19, Hepburn (Ariana) amusingly creates some odd 19 or 20 men that she has been with in her life and manages to make Flannigan very jealous and fall in love with her. Of course, the entire thing is a comedy of errors with Cooper's character becoming somehow linked to Ariana's father from the very beginning. But, I was truly surprised at how very modern and relevant the love story is still today. From covering up instances which you'd rather not reveal to potential partners, to creating false war stories to boost self esteem like Ariana's character, it feels like not a lot has changed in the 50 years since the story was written. 

But, what excited me most of all about this movie was the never to oft' spoke about distinguished charm of Audrey Hepburn. I know she has become one of the most celebrated classic beauties of our time and because of that most of us tire of seeing Breakfast at Tiffany's wall posters and other cheesy Hollywood memorabilia. If you can look past all that, though, you can see why she was such a superstar. With that tiny waist and delicate face in a time where women were expected to be curvy like budding superstar Marilyn Monroe, Hepburn was a fresh faced beauty with an atypical attraction. By the look of her, it's not hard to believe that Hepburn was actually a ballet dancer before becoming a world renowned movie star. She also embraced a personal career as humanitarian in countries where people were in need and later became a UNICEF ambassador. What a wonderful inspiration. It's not difficult to see how the star's popularity rose to near legend over the past half century. 

1 comment:

  1. The way you write is AMAZING! AMAZING! AMAZING!
    Your description of this movie and comparisons to modern day makes me want to rush out and buy the DVD!

    I LOVE your use of words! Lest I repeat myself...AMAZING! I must say that this is probably my favorite post to date. Brought tears to my eyes I was so proud!

    Love your writing...did I say "AMAZING"?!