Paris When It Sizzles (1964)

Richard Quine directs Audrey Hepburn, William Holden and Tony Curtis in this meta-farce where a playboy screenwriter and his new typist have just a weekend to completely create his new script and get lost in the romantic caper fantasy they moon over.

Considered an unreleasable flop on completion, partly due to its haphazard self aware style (ahead of its time – imagine an upbeat Charlie Kaufman comedy) and mainly due to William Holden being a train wreck on set. He was in the pits of his alcoholism, hoping to rekindle his affair with Hepburn that ended after they made Sabrina – unsuccessfully. His turmoil and tribulations don’t show up on screen… he’s tanned, roguish and has a lovely sparkle with Hepburn. She gamely gives it her all – going so wide eyed that you’d swear she had two IMAX screens for peepers while still physically stealing any scene were she isn’t given any foreground work to do. Hepburn’s status as a great beauty always seems to eclipse what a fantastic light slapstick comedy presence she was. In this bittersweet, daftly random bit of knockabout she rivals peak Goldie Hawn or Cameron Diaz in her megastar timing and goofiness. Well worth a watch.

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