Gigi (1958)

After the opening sequence of Gigi, I was terrified. I’ve watched my fair share of musicals lately and prayed this would not make me want to pull my hair out (again). Thankfully Gigi was not at all what I expected and turned out to be one of the better Best Picture winners I’ve seen from the 1950s. 

Despite a handful of songs I felt I didn’t need to hear compared to regular dialogue, Gigi impressed me with a grand finale that was predictable but unforeseen. 

Gaston (Louis Jourdan) is a stand-up guy even though he is somewhat of a celebrity. All the girls love him, and the press can’t get enough of him. One of his biggest fans is Gigi (Leslie Caron), a young woman who is still learning proper etiquette and charm. She is not the kind of girl Gaston would be interested in, not only because she is so young but because she always has her head in the clouds and is free-spirited. Gigi is quite the opposite of the models Gaston usually dates.

There’s no denying the chemistry between the two main leads, so it was pretty easy to see that these two were destined to end up together. It took a long time for both of them to come to their senses, even after Gigi openly admitted that she wanted to be the one. Gaston had a few idiotic moments, and when he walked out on Gigi, that was his biggest. Lucky for everyone involved in this love story’s outcome, Gaston realizes his error and discovers his true feelings. 

I enjoyed the final part of Gigi. I was surprised that this musical didn’t hit us with song after song, only utilizing music to tell important parts of the story and keep it moving along at a nice steady pace. The film also earned some points for being realistic. Courting was a different ball game in those days, which meant it was totally respectable that an older man would fall in love with a younger girl who was being groomed for him. 

On top of being realistic, I enjoyed the characters and felt that Gigi was a relatable character. I’ve seen so many movies where I couldn’t get invested in people or their stories but felt that Gigi was different. I wouldn’t be opposed to watching it again someday with hopes of picking up on some of the clues I may have missed the first time around. I wouldn’t consider this to be a great date night choice; however, it is the type of film people could enjoy watching on a Saturday night. 6/10

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