Paris When It Sizzles is a highly motivated film about unmotivated Hollywood films. But is it better than the movies it criticizes? Yes, but maybe not by far…
The film is about the writer’s block of a scenario writer.. and it probably has derived from one.
This film has a lot of things I love and don’t love in the 60’s comedies. It is incoherent, badly written, relies too much on unsexy sexuality, and is childishly absurd sometimes. But it is also shamelessly absurd in a good way. Moments when Paris When It Sizzles displays a quirky, quick and youthful wit in the absurd scenes save the film for me. Also Holden’s dialogue is quite witty and it is a paraphrase of the film itself. The egotistical Holden character’s reflection in the scenario of the Girl Who Stole The Eiffel Tower provides a non-stop comedy. Audrey Hepburn is wonderfully sweet and out of the place here.
So a film in a film about films, which has some good absurdism and has Audrey Hepburn and William Holden in it… I don’t regret watching this funny and ambitious little film which even has a Marlene Dietrich cameo. Don’t forget about the heartthrob Tony Curtis who is quite unusually cast here with a hilarious role – must be much more hilarious for the audience back then. The casting style and the theme is obviously very innovative, brave and new for the time.