Quick recap: A young girl has foolish ideas of marrying instead of going into the family business of being someone’s mistress
Fun (?) fact: The cat in the film hated Leslie Caron, who played Gigi and had to be drugged anytime it was in a scene with her. Considering that the cat had nothing whatsoever to do with the plot, I’m not sure why director Vincente Minnelli didn’t just let it go.
My thoughts: Without knowing anything about Gigi, I was fully prepared for it to suck. I ran across a list a few months back that ranked Best Picture winners and Gigi was at the bottom. I assumed from the synopsis Netflix provided that maybe the writer of the list just didn’t like musicals but 5 minutes in, I realized that no, this movie is in fact terrible and messed up.
Before I get into my rant, and believe me there will be a rant, I’d like to admit that I really loved the musical portion of the movie. The songs were catchy and witty and I found myself humming them the next day. The actors also did a fine job with their characters, although the heavy French accents got on my nerves. It felt like they were over the top, but when I looked up trivia I learned that they were genuine so I’ll give it a pass. The setting and costumes were also wonderful and reminded me of something Disney might put together to showcase Paris long ago.
So, why is this movie so bad? Basically, Gigi, who is a 15 year old girl (very important. Don’t forget this detail) has been born into a family of courtesans. She lives with her grandmother and mother but visits her great aunt once a week for lessons on snagging a rich guy to sleep with. Yeah. Gigi is naturally against the whole thing, but is seen as a girl in need of a makeover so that MEN WILL SLEEP WITH HER. So, in comes Gaston, a rich guy, who likes to hang out with this family but not sleep with any of them. He is particularly fond of Gigi, but sees her more like a child BECAUSE SHE IS. After a weekend with him at the beach, the Great Aunt and grandmother decide that poor Gigi needs to be transformed so Gaston will want to sleep with her. When he sees ‘grownup’ Gigi for the first time, he is repulsed (maybe because she’s 15?) but then sings a song about how he thought she was a baby but seeing her in that dress reminded him that he can totally hit that now. So he does. Gigi isn’t too happy about the whole thing but whatever, that’s the family business. The movie ends with Gaston returning the girl to her grandmother and running away, as the audience thinks he’s a jerk. But then he comes back and announces that he doesn’t want her as a mistress but instead as a wife. Awww. Except not, because she is freaking 15 years old.
Final review: I’d love to give this movie a 1/5 but I was thoroughly entertained in a car crash sort of way, so let’s go with 3/5 and then never speak of it again.
Up next: Fantastic Planet