While it wears the title and bears several of the songs, Funny Face’s relationship to the Broadway musical [of 1927] stops right there. With a different book and new, added tunes, this is a lightly diverting, modish, Parisian-localed tintuner.
Originally slated for production at Metro, film moved to Paramount as a package so Audrey Hepburn could have the femme lead opposite Fred Astaire. This May-November pairing gives the production the benefits of Astaire’s debonair style and terp accomplishments, and the sensitive acting talents of Hepburn.
Hepburn’s plays a bookish introvert who is suddenly swept from her literary existence in a Greenwich Village shop to a heady, high fashion round of Paris when she’s discovered by glamor photog Astaire.
Style runs rampant, with Hubert de Givenchy creating the Paris wardrobe worn by Hepburn as a model, while Edith Head takes care of things elsewhere. Tune-wise, there are six George and Ira Gershwin numbers from the stage musical and five from producer Roger Edens and scripter Leonard Gershe. All are either sung or used as backing for dance numbers, with director Stanley Donen handling the song staging while Astaire and Eugene Loring take care of the choreography.
1957: Nominations: Best Original Story & Screenplay, Cinematography, Costume Design, Art Direction