WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the story ranging from unimportant to plot turners.
Funny Face by Roger Edens (Producer) and Stanley Donen (Director)
Type: Musical, Romantic Comedy
Basic Plot: Jo Stockton is an intelligent girl that would rather study philosophy than do up her hair. Despite this, a photographer sees her potential and insists that she become a model in Paris. She agrees – but only to meet her favorite philosopher.
Plot: 4/5 Well Done: Funny Face is a beautiful contrasts of two worlds and two people, one carefree and pragmatic, the other serious and dreamy. It shows a sort of balance that is worked out between the worlds, as well as the conflicting selfish goals of the characters and their sometimes self contradicting beliefs. Despite all this, it is a fluffy, happy romance that leaves one feeling happy inside. A majority of the story focuses on the romance between the two main characters, that while at times feels a bit cheesy and awkward, is ultimately satisfying.
Acting: 4/5 Well Done: The actors and actresses do a wonderful at portraying their characters, whether it be in a serious moment or a funny one, the feelings are done quite well and convincingly.
Costumes and Scenery: 4/5 Well Done: No need to worry about authentic fifties costumes, the movie was released in 1957 and used real everyday clothes that were at times quite beautiful, leaving it hard to criticize them.
As for the scenery, it was silly and plain occasionally, but was overall enjoyable and created a good mood, especially when Audrey Hepburn poses for the modeling pictures.
Music: 3½/5 Above Average: The movie is filled with cheerful, upbeat songs about young love, fun, and happiness. Not a single sad songs paints the screens of this film, which in some ways I think took away from the potential to add a bit more personality, but overall, the songs themselves are happy and pleasant to watch, with long dance scenes.
Moral: 2½/5 Good, Hard to Read Moral: A majority of the movies focus is on the love story between the two main characters, and while there is character development, little is focused on a main moral. A person watching this could take away the moral of balance, as Jo Stockton not only learns the balance between being beautiful both inside and outside, as well as that her extreme spiritual clinging to the philosophy she loves may not always be the best. Other characters around her learn to balance themselves by being more empathetic and understanding of other people. Temperance and balance is an important part of our lives.
Overall: 4/5 Well Done: Funny Face is a fun, giddy musical that somehow has kind of faded behind the scenes over the years. Like modern movies, it’s witty, it’s carefree, it’s fun, but it has a sense of soft slowness and dreaminess that is more common in old movies. I think it’s a great movie for a family to sit down and watch together or to give to a musical loving friend.
Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 2/5 Some Suggestive Themes: Overall, clothing is modest, seeing it is the fifties, though there are a few slightly short pants, a few slightly low dresses, and one shot of women in one piece bathing suits. There is a picture of a woman, that appears to be topless, with her arms covering any signs of breasts or cleavage. A woman showering is briefly shown, in a similar situation. There are paintings that can be seen far off in the background of a naked woman from the back or a woman in a low dress, as well as statues of shirtless and naked men, though nothing sexual is shown. A woman says that her clothing is good enough where a girl does not have to worry if she has “no bust.” She says at another point that women are “naked waiting for me to tell them what to wear” (all meant metaphorically).
The movie is a bit of a romance, so common romantic themes like pet names (such as baby, darling, and dear) show up throughout. Kisses on the mouth amount to three, and hand kisses four. A man sings to a girl that they should “kiss and make up.” Presented as harassment, a man tries to intimidate a girl against her will into “spending time” with him, but ultimately fails. A girl is told to kiss a bird, unromantically, for a modeling shoot. In the background, men and women can be seen embracing or making out, once right after a man slaps his girlfriend.
Violence: 1/5 Brief, Light Violence: A woman dashes a statue over a man’s head. A man is knocked out twice. A man slaps a woman in the background for comedy purposes.
Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: ½/5 Brief Mention: A man says he “wouldn’t like to swear,” and doesn’t.
Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 1½/5 Some Appearance of Disturbing and Emotional Themes: A man says a woman left him with stitches and a gashed lip, and the movie shows him with a bandage on his head. A woman sings a song about stabbing her boyfriend to death and deciding to kill herself. The song leaves a nearby woman sobbing. A girl facetiously asks if she will have to throw herself under a train like Anna Karenina. Things are said like “wouldn’t be caught dead” or “hope to die.” Things like “killer” and forms of “dead” are used for descriptive purposes, the former a way of saying “cool.”
Religious Issues: 2/5 Some Mention: The protagonist is a devoted follower of empatheticalism, which is the belief that putting yourself emotionally in the place of others helps you understand them, therefore leading to peace and understanding between all men. She takes this very seriously, doing her best to meet the founder of the religion, saying she worships his ideals, and saying that his way is the “only” way to peace. The religion also holds a lot of stalk in positive and “hostile” vibrations, or more commonly called today, vibes, and there is a very brief mention that the head will speak on meditation. She eventually seems to have found a balance by the end of the movie when she becomes disenchanted with the head of the organization. At a meeting for the group, two people falsely claim to be “spiritual singers” that two other characters truly are, and sing as song about sending out “evil spirits called the voodoo” and “climbing the stairs” which while sounding like heaven is actually a joking reference to a literal place they want to get to. The lyrics to the song can be found below, which do contain some lines some Christians may find blasphemous/New Age such as “If you want to get to the promised land, clap your hands.”
A priest is called Padre, which is French for Father. A Buddha statue and a nun appear in the background. “Christen” and “hypnotic” used for descriptive purposes.
Magic: 1/5 Brief Mention: A girl says her model backstory is that she is a princess and her Prince Charming was turned into a bird by “a wicked sorcerer.” There is a statue of a centaur in the background. “Magical” and “spell” are used for descriptive purposes. No magic appears in the film.
Others: As a musical, there are a lot of dance scenes ranging from modern to ballroom style. There is a lot of smoking and drinking in the background, and a man brings wine to an event. Only champagne and wine are mentioned in conversation, and a man briefly says he owes another “a drink.” A woman jokes that she “will have to drug” a girl “to get her to Paris.” A model is reading a science fiction magazine about aliens. References to things like the Mona Lisa, Anna Karenina, and Peter Pan are made, and Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar are mentioned. “Dancer” is used for descriptive purposes.
Overall: 2/5 Child Appropriate: Though it must be admitted that there are a few very brief moments where women are in compromising pictures and Jo Stockington’s spiritual beliefs do at times seem a bit New Age, overall, I think the film is appropriate for Christian families looking for a film that is fairly clean compared to modern films. While some people will not like it, many others will find it a good show to watch, if not with young children, with their preteen or teenager daughters. I would recommend it to families with children eight and older.