A home, a motorcar, servants, the latest fashions: the most eligible and most finicky bachelor in Paris offers them all to Gigi. But she, who's gone from girlish gawkishness to cultured glamour before our eyes, yearns for that wonderful something money can't buy.
Thank heavens, for musicals. Based on Anita Loos' play, out of the novel written by Colette, Gigi snatched a ream of Academy Awards and promptly became the course of much debate and criticism for ever and a day it seems. The problem, as most musical aficionados will attest, is that Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe rehashed their previous stage hit "My Fair Lady". Which to an extent is true, hell they even slotted in one of "My Fair Lady's" thrown away songs, "Say A Prayer For Me Tonight", into Gigi's bubbly mix. But on its own terms, Gigi is still a vibrant and rewarding picture that holds up well with each passing year. The story had already been done as a French film directed by Jacqueline Audry in 1950, and a year later it had been played dramatically straight on Broadway with Audrey Hepburn in the title role. So for sure it was already a well formed story. Lerner & Loewe merely added their "Fair Lady" formula, got the talented Vincente Minnelli to direct it and broke out from the studio to utilise the Parisian locations. A touch heavy at almost two hours long, one still can't help getting wrapped up in some wonderful tunes and Cecil Beaton's gorgeous period costumes. The cast may be a mixed bunch, with it at times feeling like a competition to see who can be the most "French," but with the spiky dialogue being wry and tart, and one of "those" finales, it's a winner and highly recommended to fans of the musical genre. 7/10