Fred & the French Girl
Whilst in France, millionaire Jervis Pendelton (Fred Astaire - The Band Wagon) walks into an orphanage and becomes captivated by an 18 year old girl called Julie (Leslie Caron - An American in Paris) who has a wonderful spirit when dealing with the younger children there. With those who organise his life almost spitting feathers when he mentions an 18 year old girl to them they come up with a plan for Julie to head to New England to attend college, secretly paid for by Jervis. And despite Julie sending a weekly letter to her anonymous sponsor Jervis has never bothered to read a letter or take an interest in her until his business manager forces him to do so. It leads to Jervis going to watch her in a dance and they end up falling in love. Trouble is that Jervis decides to keep it a secret that he is the one who paid for her to come to America.
Ignore all the fun, the music and the dancing numbers in "Daddy Long Legs" and focus on the story for a minute and there is some thing a little creepy about it. Wealthy older man falls for a teen and secretly pays for her to have a good American education, sounds all a little too like grooming. Of course he maybe paying for it but he isn't directly involved which lessens the creepiness but still there is some thing a little uncomfortable about the storyline to "Daddy Long Legs" even if things do build to the young woman falling for the older man on her own terms, well once she has dealt with the truth of what he has been up to because of course she has to find out.
But in truth the driving force of "Daddy Long Legs" is the dancing and comedy which thankfully there is plenty of. Yes there are times where the musical numbers feel a little too forced, thrown in for no other reason than someone had an idea for one, but as with these older musicals many of the dance numbers are simply classy. And to be honest whilst I will always think Ginger Rogers was the best dance partner that Fred Astaire had watching him dance some energetic numbers with Leslie Caron is an enjoyable experience even if they are not memorable like some of Astaire's other dance numbers.
What this all boils down to is that watched for the musical side "Daddy Long Legs" is a lot of fun with plenty of entertaining and frequently energetic dance numbers. But for me there is some thing just a little creepy about the storyline which spoils this for me even if both Leslie Caron and Fred Astaire play their parts well.
Tags: Age Gap Romances