15 December 2016 | trimmerb1234
For some reason the theme of older man and younger girl seems a perennially popular one in French cinema and is usually done - film and relationship - with charm and some believability. The stories of Colette an influence but not entire explanation. In Gigi, the film based on a Colette story, young Leslie Caron is an engaging ingenue. Her ultimate fate is glossed over however her love interest is the older but attractive and ultimate French charmer, Louis Jourdan, someone who could probably win over any girl's mother in his project. UK films on this topic however tends towards a peculiar mixture of moralising and prurience - exploitation under the guise of exploring social issues.
Here the film entirely lacks charm (other than Olivia Hussey's innate kind) or believablility. Tom Bell, as ever, plays a bluff manly man's man, but is neither charmer nor seducer. Perhaps his appearance was fashionable at the time but the over-long all-round facial hair gives him a slightly furtive appearance - a sort of hair-hoody, slightly suggestive of dirty-mac schoolyard-loiterer. His performance seems low key - as if hoping that few people will notice he's in the cast. Olivia Hussey, having just charmed the world with her youngest sweetest prettiest of Juliets, is an odd choice here - more a dirty mac fantasy than anything remotely believable. In real life a girl of such extraordinary prettiness would have experienced the interest and (usually) tiresome attentions of older men, would thus have well known her attractiveness and chosen someone special, whatever their age, of equal or greater attractiveness either of looks, style, manner, education, sophistication or simply very rich - not an ordinary middle-aged geezer. Putting aside the improbability, the story-line itself is so-so. The casting of Olivia Hussey makes the film ridiculous.