Starring: Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, Tony Curtis
Director: Richard Quine
Running Time: 110 mins
Paris When It Sizzles is an American film about a screenwriter and his assistant, stuck for ideas for a new movie, who imagine the wildest Parisian tales in the hope of making a good flick.
This is by far the fluffiest film I’ve ever seen. I know it’s not very good, but I had so much fun watching it! It’s so silly and fantastical that there’s no need to take it at all seriously, and it’s so light-hearted that you could easily watch this without the need to use your brain at all, but it’s on the whole a real joy to watch.
Firstly, I should make the incredibly unusual structure of this film clear. The main plot surrounds the relationship developing between the screenwriter (William Holden) and his assistant (Audrey Hepburn), however the majority of the film is taken up with the story of the movie that the two are trying to think up, which more of a crazy crime-comedy-romance-horror-thriller.
However, don’t let the idea of this bizarre film-within-a-film concept confuse you, because this whole film is fantastically idiotic and fun that there’s no need to think at all hard about it. There’s a nice, cheesy romance thrown in there for laughs, a lot of slapstick comedy, a hilariously convoluted story line and all that sort of stuff that makes it a total farce.
In fact, this film is effectively a parody of the most generic Audrey Hepburn Parisian romantic comedies (there are a few of them). At times, it directly spoofs elements from her previous films, while she plays an incredibly simplistic and clichéd character in the story-within-a-story, but the fact that you can see that a lot of that is done so deliberately makes it quite a funny touch.
The only downside to this film, really, is the fact that it sometimes becomes a little over-indulged in its story-within-a-story. The best part at the beginning was flicking back and forth between worlds, but as the film goes on, it gets a little slower, which spoils the crazy, fun atmosphere a little.
However, I’ve got to say that this is still hugely entertaining to watch, and while I can accept that it is terribly stupid, it has a certain degree of charm and a large amount of farce that make it such a joy to watch, and that’s why it gets a 7.8.