Friday, January 8, 2016

The France on Film Blogathon: GIGI: You would think it would embarrass all the people here in Paris to be thinking every minute of love!

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 (1958)

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. 



Like the film I wrote about, The Merry Widow, Gigi shows us Paris at its best. I love the colors, the scenarios and the gowns. I love Gaston singing "Gigi", but I love Madame and Honore the most. It is, indeed, a lovely film.

Unknown said...

Thank for a lovely post which celebrates all things love within a wonderful classic! I enjoyed this post, I, too, root for Honore and Mme Alvarez! This was a delightful contribution to The France on Film Blogathon, and Louis Jordan, was quite handsome! Merci Beaucop!

Silver Screenings said...

Wonderful post! It's a beautiful tribute to the film and, like you said, a beautiful tribute to love in all its forms.

I was struck by what you said about Madame Alvarez and her home reflecting warmth. That never really registered with me before, but you're absolutely right. I'll pay closer attention to this set next time.

As for Chevalier, yes – WHO can resist this charismatic rogue? He is SO GOOD in this role!

FlickChick said...

Hi Le - I am on my way over to read all of the fabulous entries now. As always, thanks for your sweet comments.

FlickChick said...

Hi Summer: I can't wait to immerse myself in all things French. Thank you for hosting this awesome and timely event.

FlickChick said...

Hi Ruth: I am so glad you are a Chevalier fan. I know there are quite a few who remain blind to his charms. As for Gigi's home - I feel it really is a comfy type of home, so welcoming (which is why Gaston keeps hanging around - at first...).

Michaela said...

Love this film. Don't even get me started on Louis Jordan -- so gorgeous and such an underrated leading man. Every time I watch this movie, I have a yearning to hang out with Gaston, Gigi, and Grandmama. Nice post!

Inge Gregusch said...

Beautiful post! Love the white gown Gigi wears. I've not seen the film, but will try to catch it as soon as I can. Thanks again!

FlickChick said...

Michaela - what fun to hang out at Gigi's! Especially with Gaston ;)

FlickChick said...

Inge - the costumes are so beautiful. Gigi's dove dress reminds me of my favorite GWTW dress. I guess I'm a sucker for bird embellishments!

Inge Gregusch said...

It's an amazing gown. Cecil Beaton's use of black and white foreshadowed the "Ascot Gavotte" scene in "My Fair Lady" a few years later. Great stuff!

The Metzinger Sisters said...

What a wonderful post! We adore "Gigi" and it was always a favorite of our father ( French born ) and our grandmother, who lived in Paris for a time. It's great reading about films that are dear to our hearts, because it makes us aware just how many other bloggers consider these same films their own favorites. It's like having a mutual old and very dear friend. You have brought up some points about Gigi that we had not considered too : hmmm...if Honore's daughter was indeed Gigi's mother, then that would make her and Gaston cousins ( of sorts ). Ah, but what is that small matter for Parisians? Thanks for sharing your love of Gigi with us!

FlickChick said...

Sisters - isn't it just the best? And oohhh....on second thought, let's not go there as far as the possible family tree.....