18 April 2014 | dbdumonteil
Two love stories
This is a movie out of time,but it retains a certain pristine charm,that of the old Christmas cards of yore.The two stars are completely forgotten today but they had plenty of go and they made a nice couple ;the movie is divided into two parts that do not hang well (the second part is flawed and finally disappointing)
1)LA BELLE EPOQUE : She's a singer in a cabaret "La Vie Parisienne " (hence the title) and performs all the "hits" of the era :"La Tonkinoise" "Si Tu Veux Faire Mon Bonheur " ,some of which became perennials ;she attracts the attention of a Young viscount but the Belle doesn't want to go out with the first to come and "besides mommy would be cross;the problem is that "mommy " is a concierge ,and ,except in fairy tales ,princes do not woo shepherdesses ,except for fun.But the noble is really in love:he passes himself off as a coach driver (and vice versa ,the crude man becomes a duke ). There are pleasant scenes: the viscount unloads cauliflowers when the coachman drinks champagne (but he'd rather have a rough red wine),the very short duel ,the noble father,Gontran ,who won't hear of this misalliance ;the establishment wins ,and they ironically tell us that the Young man cried for his girl for eight days,which was much for the time.
2)PRESENT TIME (the fifties ,that is)
Now the bourgeoisie has taken over the power ,and the aristocracy is ruined ;the granddaughter and the grandson of the Belle Epoque lovers is inverted ;the Young man is hired by the bourgeois family to play the trumpet for a party and he is humiliated ;best scene concerns the Grandson and his still alive grandfather (both played by Philippe Lemaire )facing each other ,the old man remembering his unfortunate love and "La Tonkinoise" .But the rest is not up to par,compared with the first segment.
The film was shot in color ,which was rare in the fifties;the color has faded a bit,which adds to the obsolete charm.