"It is infuriating that your unhappiness does not turn to fat." - Dominique Minot, Charade

Peter Stone’s novel, Charade, begins with the words “Two weeks at Trouville on the Normandy coast had darkened Regina Lambert’s skin, lightened her hair, added six pounds to those parts of her that were most often admired, and convinced her to divorce her husband”.

In director Stanley Donen’s 1963 movie our first sighting of Regina Lambert comes in the guise of Audrey Hepburn (impeccably chic in a fur sweater, matching hat, and dark glasses) ignoring the ski slopes behind her as she finishes her lunch. A meal that she is eating alone, despite any of the social diktats of the period which tended to look askance at a single female dining in solitude. And thus two main themes of the film are established, the fashion, represented by a soignée selection of Givenchy’s finest, and the food, in which Regina finds comfort during times of difficulty. In fact, as we currently face a barrage of commentary and debate on diet and models, it’s refreshing to find a film that marries style and sustenance in such a way.

Another thing that Charade provides a hearty dose of "sparkling wit"...but that's hardly surprising as it really wouldn't be a Cary Grant film without it. One of the most thought-provoking...from a personal perspective...is the following (Reggie is Audrey Hepburn and Dyle is Cary Grant, in their hotel in Paris)...

REGGIE: Alex - how can you tell if someone is lying or not?

DYLE: You can't.

REGGIE: There must be some way.

DYLE: There's an old riddle about two tribes of Indians - the Whitefeet always tell the truth and the Blackfeet always lie. So one day you meet an Indian, you ask him if he's a truthful Whitefoot or a lying Blackfoot? He tells you he's a truthful Whitefoot, but which one is he?

REGGIE: Why couldn't you just look at his feet?

DYLE: Because he's wearing moccasins.

REGGIE: Oh. Well, then he's a truthful Whitefoot, of course.

DYLE: Why not a lying Blackfoot?

REGGIE (confused): Which one are you?

DYLE (entering, smiling): Whitefoot, of course.

What brought this to mind...apart from the fact that the Fall and Winter are my favorite times of year to curl up and watch old films...are these Paradox Buttons...but which one is telling the truth?



Post a Comment 2 comments:

  • enc said...
    10:14 AM
  • Sal said...
    11:12 AM
    Ack! It's like the riddles from the David Bowie/Jennifer Connoly movie "Labyrinth." Remember? That riddle made my head spin ...

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