This is my entry in the France on Film Blogathon, hosted by Serendipitous Anachronisms. Click HERE for the full roster of all things oo la la!
I write this entry with a special ache of the heart. Paris is the one destination that never disappointed me and more than lived up to my lofty imaginings. Prayers for the city of light and the city of dreams.No matter what, we'll always have Paris.
Gigi is all about love, all kinds of love.
Love of Family
Madame Alvarez, what a woman. Her home reflects the warmth and comfiness of this wonderful lady. She is all about love. First, there is her love for her granddaughter, Gigi. She grooms Gigi for the family business, but wants a better life for her. In the end, she defies her sister and breathes a sigh of relief at Gigi's fate.
Although a courtesan, she obviously felt great love for Honore.
And Madame loves her daughter (Honore’s daughter?), who was not raised in the family business, but follow her passion and slaves as a soprano at the Comédie-Française. Ah, the irony. It was a soprano that caused dear Honore to stray. She is my favorite character.
Love as a business
This is personified by Gigi's Aunt Alicia She attempts to schooled the wayward Gigi in the fine art of gems and cigars as symbols of love. She is retired from the family trade, but seems happy in her reclusive life, surrounded by the proof of past loves.
And who can ignore the avaricious Liane d'Exelmans? While Gaston is besotted for a time with the faithless wench, she eventually can't close the business deal with the romantic Gaston.
Love as a sport
Honore Lachille - with a twinkle in his eye, he is the pursuer, the hunter and women are his prey.He is the true athlete. He loves his sport, he keeps in shape and he brings joy to his audience. He may be a rogue, but who can resist a lovable one? Chevalier brings his vast legend to the role. Who can tell where one ends and one begins? He is the Parisian soul of Gigi.
Love as loyalty to a beautiful memory
Madame Alvarez and Honore: wouldn't it be nice if they got back together? I know it's a long shot, but I am always rooting for them. They both have known love as a business and love as a sport, yet they hold on to a sentimental and youthful love. Sigh.....
Love as romance: Gig
The transformation from girl to woman while skipping mistress and going straight to wife is the fulfillment of her romantic dream. She holds on to her ideals and gets her prince charming.
Love as romance: Gaston
Poor Gaston! Like Gigi, his role in the game of love has been predetermined. While Gigi is the prize, he is the buyer. And like Gigi he rejects the cynical view of love for romantic rose colored glasses. Louis Jourdan is almost too handsome to bear.
And then there is Paris, the city of light that can embrace love in all of its forms.
Gigi gives us the Paris of our dreams: opulent, elegant and romantic. It captures beautifully the romance of youth that never deserts even its oldest practitioners. The Paris of Gigi is the spring in the step of the enchanted, the skip of the heart beat of a new love.