Starring Leslie Caron, Maurice Chevalier, Louis Jourdan, Hermione Gingold, Eva Gabor
Beautiful. Superficial. Underwhelming.
Set in 1900s Paris, Gigi tells the story of a young courtesan in training named Gilberte (Caron) who attracts the attention of a bored aristocrat and family friend, Gaston (Jourdan). The level of craftsmanship on display by Minnelli, the director, and his cast and crew is remarkable. Truly one of the most beautiful films you’ll ever see. However, I’ve always found the film lacking in anything substantial. As a classic musical, it’s meant as pure escapism and so it isn’t necessary that it be profound or dramatic, but this film lacks any drama. The main conflict is essentially a matter of how much Gaston loves Gilberte. Does he want her just as a mistress or as a wife? I didn’t find that gripping enough. The soundtrack has some nice moments, but pales in comparison with Lerner and Loew’s other work, in particular, their masterpiece My Fair Lady.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-