Paris When It Sizzles (1964)

Genres - Comedy, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Comedy, Showbiz Comedy  |   Release Date - Apr 8, 1964 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 110 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Paris When It Sizzles is conspicuously lacking in sizzle, and that's probably its major problem. An incredibly light, titanically inconsequential romantic comedy such as this one rises or falls mostly on the chemistry between its leading players. Certainly the makers of Paris had every reason to expect that chemistry, as it had been apparent when William Holden and Audrey Hepburn made Sabrina a decade earlier. Unfortunately, lightning did not strike twice, perhaps because of rumored personal problems that Holden was experiencing at the time which may have caused him to "pull back" somewhat onscreen. The actor is not helped by the fact that Paris is something of a late-model screwball comedy, a genre that does not take best advantage of his considerable talents. Hepburn, by contrast, has no problem here, and indeed she's lovely throughout; if this is not one of her greatest performances, it's largely due to the fact that neither the screenplay nor the direction are top notch. The former is amusing but confused, aiming at too many targets without really hitting them and not providing enough payback on its interesting premise. The latter is simply pedestrian, causing a film that should sail by on the fleetest of feet to instead plod along with only the occasional skip or half-hearted leap. Paris When It Sizzles is watchable, but little else.