Paris When It Sizzles
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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2000
If you are French or of French ancestry, celebrating Bastille Day (July 14) outside of France, this is the film for you. Audrey Hepburn and William Holden are great in this stream-of- conciousness story of a writer and his typist creating an original script in just one weekend, about a plot that takes place, in Paris, all in one day-Bastille Day (July 14). Although some viewers, who are not willing to watch with an open mind, may find it hard to follow, those who watch with the proper perspective will thoroughly enjoy this spoof on the difficulties involved in the creative process. Watching Audrey Hepburn's and William Holden's characters distill their sudden ideas and sudden blocks into a cohesive and logical storyline are a joy to follow along with. Even though it can be a start-stop-start-stop train of thought, that's the real fun of this movie: watching the "story- within-the-story" evolve. You don't what to expect next, what parts of what you just watched will be deleted, will they move backward or forward? THAT'S the challenge and the FUN of this great, visionary (and for its time,experimental) film! Of course, the wonderful scenery, fashions, and production values are in keeping with what viewers would expect from an Audrey Hepburn comedy. Watch for Tony Curtis in a hilarious cameo role as Audrey Hepburn's beatnik boyfriend. Audrey's Gabrielle is equally hilarious trying to communicate with him in beatnik-speak, and winds up sounding like France's first (Loire)Valley Girl..."Oh, Maurice, I'm, LIKE, so happy for you..." Also watch for cameos by Marlene Dietrich, and others, including a voice-over cameo by Frank Sinatra, as imagined singing the would-be title song of the film being created, "The Girl Who Stole The Eiffel Tower." Break out the baguettes, the escargot, and the Perrier: the scene in which the writers order room service will have you salivating on the spot. And remember, "it's a twist on a twist on a twist on a twist on a twist on a twist on a...."
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 1999
I bought this movie a week ago and have watched it about 12 times already. It's one of the most romantic movies I've ever seen! Which accounts for some of the bad reviews it's gotten -- by men. But men are notorious for not caring for romantic movies. Here's my assessment, ladies: Holden is a sun-tanned, shirtless, gorgeous specimen of manhood, with that damn sexy dimple that drives women wild! And Hepburn is the epitome of femininity, spirit, and charm. Their screen personas are not far from their own personalities. Holden plays a cynical, insecure screenwriter badly in need of a jolt of fresh inspiration, idealism, and joy for life -- all of which Hepburn's character exudes in spades! Which, of course, explains Holden's own attraction to Hepburn. After seeing this movie I bought 3 book biographies and 3 video biographies on Holden and Hepburn. This is a wonderful romantic comedy written by George Axelrod ("Breakfast At Tiffany's"). It's a gem!
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 1998
HOWEVER, Paris When It Sizzles is a fun light-hearted movie and a must see for every Audrey Hepburn fan.The premise is that Ms. Hepburn plays Gabriella, a typist from the Typist Bureau. Living in Paris, she is sent to a most magnificent hotel room where she encounters the very tan and handsome (and not to mention shirtless) William Holden, a playright with a bit of ADD. They set out together to finish the play he has been procrastinating by acting out the scenes and of course there are some romantic antics that follow.Of course, Monsieur Hubert de Givenchy provided our starlett with a deliciously gorgeous wardrobe (definitely with seeing).Overall, I would recommend Paris... because it is mindless and easy on the eyes. There are some fun cameos, such as from Marlene Dietrich, Mel Ferrer, Tony Curtis and the venerable Noel Coward as Alexander Meyerheim.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 23, 2001
I'd avoided PARIS WHEN IT SIZZLES for years because of the universal pans it received -- what a mistake! The new DVD release will undoubtedly give the film a new lease on life, and hurrah for that. What movie did the critics see? This picture may not be top-drawer work from anyone involved, but it's still a great deal of fun, and definitely worth a look. Hepburn is enchanting, as always, and it's enjoyable to see her spoofing horror and action film conventions. Knowing her real-life feelings for Holden adds a special poignancy to their work together here, particularly in his big self-loathing monologue; her reaction shots to him are very moving. He's game, as are Tony Curtis and Noel Coward in cameos, and there's real wit in the Axelrod screenplay. If only the average comedy released today could have a tenth of the style or flair in this "flop" of Hollywood's later golden era!
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2004
There's so much to say. I saw this in 1964 when it was first released, and thought to myself that George Axelrod was having writer's block, so he wrote a movie about it. Richard Quine directed most of the bubbly comedies in the 60's (which are now justifiably forgotten), and this is almost one of them. There are many things, however, that make this film compelling to a film aficianado (as I like to think of myself). The acting is unforgivably hammy, but the hamminess is energetic. Let's not forget that Hepburn (Roman Holiday) and Holden (Stalag 13), both won the top acting Oscars in 1953, and they were paired the following year by the great Billy Wilder in "Sabrina". There, they had absolute chemistry; 10 years later...where'd it go? There are an awful lot of very clever one-liners. I liked most of them. Especially clever was when she was chased around the table by the vampire, and terrific product placement has a bottle of Heinz Steak Sauce visible. There are clever cameos from Noel Coward, Marlene Dietrich, Tony Curtis and Frank Sinatra (vocal). Unfortunately, clever one-liners do not make a plot. There really isn't one. Still, it's some great actors having more fun than the viewer. Hepburn is quite radiant; Holden still has charm (mixed with smarm). There's also Fred Astaire singing "That Face", which I think is original for this film. Not a bad song. Referring to Audrey, the song is appropriate. She never looked so beautiful, even in "My Fair Lady", released the same year. I guess it's a pretty lousy film overall, though production values are high. The DVD has a nice 1.85:1 LBX, though Paramount had VistaVision, which was wider (20th Century Fox had Cinemascope, United Artists had Panavision, etc). The price is right, but if you want to really watch great actors chew up scenery, hammy 'n all, wait for the DVD release of "Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte". It might happen...It's a GREAT display of film-making and production values. As a film achievement, "Paris When It Sizzles" ...fizzles...
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2002
One of Audrey Hepburn's quirkier films Paris When It Sizzles is a story of a secretary (Hepburn) who comes to type up a wealthy film writers (Holden) script. Much to her surprise there is no script to write. To further the dilemma the script has to be finished within a couple of days. The real film is a jump in and out of reality as you see what is in Holdens mind. Naturally he messes up a few times and you have to rewind and start over again or change a character, therefore, the film changes just like that. Then Hepburn/Holden chemistry you think would be there, considering they had already filmed together before (Sabrina). However, it seems tense and slightly uncomfortable, possibly due to Holden's drinking and his crush on Hepburn. But all in all it is a unique film that might be your answer if the every day classic bores you.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2000
This is one of my all time favorite Audrey Hepburn movies. Starring also William Holden, they're unbelievably cute together on the screen. Some of the parts in this movie were drop-dead hilarious. Tony Curtis' lines of "Sir, I'm not Maurice. I'm Phillipe. Maurice. Maurice." were pretty funny and Audrey Hepburn's "Yes, when I was a little girl, on Sunday mornings, if I had been good, I could go and feed the giraffes in our private zoo in the castle" were funny as well. Some of the things in this movie are *really* cheesy, but that's what makes it a great movie. The chemistry between Holden and Hepburn can't be missed. Watch with an open mind, though, because if you're not open-minded or a big 'movie critic', you may not like this movie as well. So, go out and buy it. It's definately worth the price.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2003
Oh wait. There are! Can we say "classic"? Okay, maybe not "classic" in the classical sense of the word, but this has to be one of Audrey Hepburn's best movies, if not simply for the comedy. The first time I saw this, I was on vacation in Hawaii. I laughed so hard, I knew I had to see it again. I rented it three times before my mom finally bought it for me and now I can't get enough of it. My friends and I quote it all the time and, despite the strange looks from the people who don't understand, we love it.
Audrey: On Sundays, if I was a good girl, I would get to feed the giraffes!
William: Don't tell me you had giraffes as a child too!
It doesn't get any better than this duo. I mean, they have such chemistry that they can pull off a kiss 4 minutes into the movie (yes, we counted)! Great! If you are looking for a movie to watch, this will work any day of the week. It's better with friends though, because the laughter just increases. So rent or buy...just watch!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2005
As I write this, I realize that this movie is perhaps the most maligned film in either Audrey Hepburn or William Holden's catalogues. I will admit, the film is not perfect, and the love story between the two leads is not the most convincing love story out there, but the movie is fun to watch.

The story involves a writer and a typist who have three days to come up with a full movie script, since the author waited until the last minute to start. The two trade ideas on how to make the story good, and in the process they fall in love, and the story within the story alludes to what is happening in "real life"

I found the movie actually witty at times, and very creative. I dabble in writing myself once in a while, so I can relate to having a million ideas, none of which relate to one another. If you still need a reason to watch the movie, the Paris cityscapes and miscellaneous photography are breathtaking.

Paris When it Sizzles is no Roman Holiday, Breakfast at Tiffany's, or even a Funny Face or Love in the Afternoon, but it has its charms, which any Audrey Hepburn fan would absolutely devour in moments.

P.S. 2003's Alex and Emma has the same basic story, and is very fun to watch too.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 1999
Critics roasted this movie but it is not that bad. Granted that it is not one of her best movies(on the bottom second above "they all laughed"), it is still a good one. It is a very light romantic comedy with no deeper meaning a la "Breakfast at Tiffany's", "Roman Holliday", "Sabrina", "Love in the Afternoon" and others. One has to watch it with a relaxed mind and just enjoy the parody of hollywood and the silliness of a screen writer. The video is as best as it can get in VHS, especially for a movie of that time, and with plenty of location sights of Paris coupled with Audrey in top original fashion clothes, this movie is a pleasure to be viewed. Every moment is enjoyable, of course with no other expectation than as described above, especially for Audrey fans. For people new to Audrey's movies, I definitely recommend first to watch her best movies.
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