Love in the Afternoon
Directed by Billy Wilder
Written by Bill Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond
Billy Wilder Productions
First viewing/Amazon Instant
When the “May” in a May-December romance is Audrey Hepburn and Billy Wilder is at the helm, a movie is bound to have its charms.
The city is Paris, where Private Detective Claude Chavasse (Maurice Chevalier) does a booming business ferreting out infidelity. He tries to keep his sordid cases away from his daughter, Ariane (Hepburn), but she is fascinated. Chavasse’s latest case involves a dalliance between Frank Flannigan (Gary Cooper), a notorious womanizing millionaire, and a married woman. Ariane sees Flannigan’s picture and is smitten. Then she overhears the woman’s husband plotting to kill him and decides to come to his rescue.
Ariane interrupts the tryst and poses as the woman in question while the real thing escapes. Flannigan begins to romance the cello student. She defends herself by regaling him with tales of her other lovers, all borrowed from her father’s files.
Hepburn is as beautiful and charming as ever in this. The script is witty and the whole thing goes down easily. Coop just looks very tired to me unfortunately. It probably would have worked better with Cary Grant or William Holden.