Gigi movie paired with French food

F&F-Gigi

Image: Kitchme

Starring Leslie Caron, Maurice Chevalier & Louis Jourdan

Rating 7/10

Plot:

– Gigi is a young girl learning to be a woman… of sorts… a courtesan in gay Paris! Love, or something like it, is on the tips of all the lips around her. She is a girl who is desperately clinging to simpler ideals of it in a world where the word is used for pretty much anything below the belt as long as you have your manners, mind!
– It’s a story of a middle class girl (Caron), living with her grandmother (because her real mother couldn’t be bothered looking after her), whose aunt is training her to be a courtesan. Upper class family friend and all round ladies man, Gaston (Jourdan) is a frequent visitor at the apartment.
– Poor little Gaston is bored with being so ridiculously rich and popular. He much prefers the company of these simple females with their home cooked meals and card games. To him, Gigi, is like a sister… until they visit the seaside, she gets all dolled up and he realises that he is in love with her. So, to Gigi’s horror, he suggests she become his mistress! In the end she agrees and he realises that he is so in love with her that he actually wants to marry her! Wedding bells and more songs!

Entree:

Oh how I love everything French: Paris, the delicious accent, the history, the wine and, of course, the food. Yummo! Let’s start our French feast with this famous dish from Marseille. It’s Bouillabaisse or Fish Stew from Food Jimoto.

Review:

If you love Paris, you’ll love this film. It is as French as an American film can be. The actors are French, hip hip etc, so the accents are genuine. The backdrop is actually Paris, for the most part. And for those you have visited this beautiful city, you will have fun picking out all the landmarks you  have visited. Besides all the surface stuff, this is a pretty ok film. It seems to share its roots with My Fair Lady which was a play at the time Gigi was made.

Musicals make funny little films. You either sigh with frustration over another song or you sit back and sing along. The first song in this film is sung by an older gentleman, Honoré Lachaille (Chevalier), and it’s called ‘Thank Heaven for Little Girls’. With my modern eyes, it was a bit creepy, I must say. The rest of the songs were ok, no My Fair Lady, so a little sigh-worthy. The story and the characters didn’t engage me, rather it was the setting, the costumes, the accents and the sets that gave it the ‘wow’ factor.

Leslie Caron (from An American in Paris) always seems to overact but the character suited her… this time! I loved Gaston and the various socialites swanning around in their beautiful dresses. Look out for Zsa Zsa Gabor’s sister, Eva who plays Gaston’s woman, Liane d’Exelmans.

This was a rather light Oscar winner. A spot of fun, a splash of Paris, a sprinkling of colour, history and Frenchedness! It seems we have entered the ‘musical’ part of the Best Picture winners, so hold onto your brushes and warm up those vocal chords, because there’s more of this to come!

Main meal:

One of France’s most famous dishes would have to be this one. It’s rich, drenched in wine and typically French which has to be eaten while sipping on a glass of red and chewing on a crunchy piece of homemade bread. Yum. So here it is… Boeuf Bourguignon recipe from Kitchme.

F&F-Gigi

Image: Kitchme

Gigi Trivia:

  • Budget – $3.3 million
  • Audrey Hepburn was the favourite to play Gigi but turned down the role.
  • Leslie Caron’s singing voice was dubbed by Betty Wand. Can’t say she did a great job, especially in one of the songs… but whatever!
  • The society scenes were filmed at a french restaurant, ‘Maxims’.
  • The cat in the song ‘Say a Prayer for me Tonight’ was drugged because it was misbehaving, going a bit crazy, and director Minnelli still wanted that particular animal! Um…. can anyone say ‘animal cruelty’. C’mon Vinnie.
  • This film was one of the few films in history to win all the Oscars it was nominated for (9)
  • Leslie Caron had to relearn her French accent after living in Britain for so long.
Dessert:
Ooh la la bring on the French sweets why don’t you?! Oh yeah! Even if you skip the first two you MUST make this beauty, it’s my all time favourite dessert. Yep, it’s Raspberry Creme Brulee from Better Homes and Gardens.
F&F-Gigi
What’s your favourite French dish – sweet or savoury?
More awesome films with yummy food:
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