Gigi

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Gigi Movie Poster Image
Charming, pretty 1950s musical with dated gender roles.
  • G
  • 1958
  • 116 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Given its age, there are many old-fashioned beliefs: That women need to please men; that physical beauty is very important. And though the film sort of pushes against some of these suppositions, it doesn't much stray away from them. But like other musicals of this era, all's well that ends well thanks to true love.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Gaston and his uncle are fairly dismissive of the women in their lives, and Gigi and her relatives buy into the belief that being kept is a worthy pursuit.

Violence
Sex

No nudity, or even close to it, but Gigi is being groomed to become a kept woman, and that's central to the plot. A lead character is a playboy and dates many women.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

As appropriate for the times, characters drink and smoke in social situations. There's even a song about champagne.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that, scratch below the pretty surface of this iconic 1950s musical and some dated and slightly racy themes appear: about how important it is to make your man happy and whether it's better to be a wife or a mistress. Still, tweens and teens who give it a try will be entranced by the splendidness and charm of it all, and will likely put such plot points within the film's historical context. There's no swearing or nudity, and any drinking and smoking is done so socially.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byavocats May 9, 2010

Not for tweens

It is about prostitution, all being said, isn't it? Gigi says that she will be expected to sleep in his bed in exchange for a life of luxury. I don'... Continue reading
Adult Written byjmo97 May 17, 2016

Pretty to look at, but not very engaging

This musical's about a French girl who is trying to learn how to become a woman. There are some good performances, like the aunt, and I did like the chemis... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byohcomeon1317 August 22, 2015

Awesome movie

This movie is amazing.
Kid, 11 years old January 6, 2018

Gigi Is Like a Work of Beauty and Art on your Television Screen

Gigi is one of the best musicals ever made. It stars many great actors and actresses including Leslie Caron and Maurice Chevalier. Gigi is a movie based around... Continue reading

What's the story?

It's the turn of the century -- 20th century -- Paris, and young Gigi (Leslie Caron) is poised to follow in her aunt's (Isabel Jeans) and grandmother's (Hermione Gingold) footsteps to become a highly courted courtesan in this cinematic adaptation of author Colette's novella. It's serious business that requires serious training, but Gigi is constantly distracted by their family friend, the affluent and popular bachelor Gaston Lachaille (Louis Jourdan). As they spend more time together, the two grow to care for one another. But Gigi's expected to be a mistress; can she really be the wife? Especially since love, to her, seems befuddling and mysterious? Besides, she's changing as she perfects her craft, and Gaston may not appreciate the metamorphosis. Can their love last?

Is it any good?

As one of GIGI's most popular songs goes, "Thank heaven for little girls," and that much is true for the film in general. It's an Academy Award-winning classic for a reason -- or, rather, so many reasons: inventive plot, memorable music (by Alan Jay Lerner and Fritz Loewe), swoony costumes (by the legendary Cecil Beaton), and inspiring performances. With Paris as the backdrop, no less. At times the film feels almost too perfect, as though engineered for maximum effect but lacking heft, and today's audiences may find the way it prettifies its subject matter -- Gigi is being prepared, essentially, for mistress-hood -- off-puttingly old-fashioned. But the doubts fall away after the opening credits and the charm offensive begins.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why Gigi is being trained to become a great courtesan/mistress? Why is this a lofty (at least in Paris during that time period) goal? Or isn't it?

  • What makes Gigi so appealing to Gaston? Is there something off-putting in the idea that an older family friend like him ends up dating a younger woman he's known since her teens? (Gigi's age isn't specified, but there are references to her being young.)

  • Clearly, some themes in the film are dated (specifically the role of women), but they're worth discussing. What do you think of how men are fought for in this society, and the women who are groomed to please them?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love classic romance and musicals

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate