“You know who I am, Mr. Flanagan — the girl in the afternoon, the apertif, as we say in the Left Bank.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Unfortunately, the film as a whole isn’t entirely successful. It’s too long by far, and its pacing is off, particularly during the first hour; things don’t really heat up until the second half of the story, when Hepburn suddenly begins “playing” Cooper, and we’re eager to see how she’ll manage to keep him enticed. It’s frustrating, however, that the mores of the time made it difficult for Wilder to definitively show one way or the other whether Hepburn and Cooper are actually lovers during the afternoon, or simply companions; it’s difficult to believe they would remain the latter, yet we’re simultaneously meant to suppose that Hepburn stays conveniently “innocent” throughout. Meanwhile, it’s frustrating to witness Hepburn’s persistent infatuation with Cooper, given what we understand about his inveterate playboy tendencies (witness the opera intermission scene, for instance, when Cooper’s eyes wander uncontrollably); we know that he’ll never be able to devotes his attentions solely to her, in the way she clearly hopes for and deserves.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: