Paris - When It Sizzles [1964]

Paris When It Sizzles is an unusual screwball comedy to say the least. Whether it works is another matter, but the premise and humor are interesting enough to make it enjoyable. The basic problem with the film is its two stars: William Holden and Audrey Hepburn hardly sizzle with onscreen chemistry, and Hepburn's character, Miss Simpson, falls far too easily into the hands of Holden's drunken screen writer. However, the story is an interesting play on the typical Hollywood romance, with two plotlines running in parallel to each other. Holden's Richard Benson has only two days to finish a script for an enigmatic producer (Noel Coward). Hepburn's Miss Simpson is drafted in as the typist and as the script is dictated it manifests itself on the screen, allowing the two lead characters to play out any number of romantic stories. It's the cameo appearances in the imaginary world that really steal the show, with the blink-and-you'll-miss-it last screen appearance by Marlene Dietrich, as well as Tony Curtis having fun with his own screen persona. Not one of Hepburn or Holden's best, but worth a look purely for the interesting slant on the mechanical nature of Hollywood's romances. --Nikki Disney

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