A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Big romantic gestures pay off. Criminals get their comeuppance. Movie cliches can work in real life too. Communication and teamwork are important in solving problems.
Positive Role Models
Gabrielle is smart and eloquent, though easily pulled in by Richard's charm. She understands the movie industry and learns to use his filmic rules to influence his own behavior in real life. Richard is arrogant and drinks constantly, though possibly to cover up insecurities beneath. He shows care and kindness toward Gabrielle, almost in spite of himself. The pair show communication skills and teamwork to get the script finished.
Characters are exclusively White. Beyond the two central roles, men within the industry drink and gamble, while the women take notes in bikinis. At one point, men keep score of a card game by writing on a woman's bare back. However, the movie acknowledges and plays on some stereotypes, such as poking fun at the idea of a man punching a woman's suitor as a display of masculinity. Frequent comments about Audrey Hepburn's "big magical eyes" are played for laughs, acknowledging her doe-eyed image. Though her character is smart and confident, she is referred to as a "little fool" and an "unsophisticated chick" at times. At one point, the film leans into a Western style and a stereotypical representation of Native Americans in headdresses is briefly shown, albeit in the center of 1960s Paris.
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Violence & Scariness
Guns are fired, people shot dead (with blood from the mouth on one occasion), and a plane is shot down. Physical fighting includes punching, shoving, and hitting with objects, and a brawl breaks out in the street. A character is hit and falls down unconscious. Young children set off fire crackers. Mention of bull fights. Bats in a cave, a vampire, and a skeleton frighten a character.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Characters flirt and kiss on the lips and neck. Character seen topless from behind, brushing their hair, and naked beneath bubbles in a bath. There is kissing on a bed, with characters lying on top of each other, clothed. Fade-out implies sex has taken place. Bikini-clad characters.
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Occasional language includes "hell" and "damn."
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Products & Purchases
References to Paramount Pictures and movies including La Dolce Vita and Breakfast at Tiffany's, as well as brands like Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Château Lafite Rothschild champagne, Martini, Le Figaro newspaper, Levi's, and Parcheesi game.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink alcohol -- including vodka, cocktails, champagne, vermouth, brandy, and wine. One character drinks the majority of the time they're on-screen. Characters smoke cigarettes and a pipe is smoked in the background.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Paris When it Sizzles is a charming Hollywood romance from the 1960s starring William Holden and Audrey Hepburn who come together in order to complete a movie script. Violence is usually shown in the movie-within-a-movie, with people shot dead and physical fighting. Characters also kiss and there is the implication sex has taken place. Holden's character, Richard Benson, drinks alcohol most of the time he is on-screen -- though is never seen seriously intoxicated. Various brand names are mentioned, and there are references to other movies. While the romance is fairly predictable, characters show communication skills and teamwork, and the film has plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor and clever plot techniques that make it an enjoyable watch that will likely appeal to adults and teens who appreciate filmmaking from bygone eras. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
While it's a typical boy-meets-girl romance, the two leads -- Benson and Hepburn -- are as delightful as ever in this elaborate movie-within-a-movie that has a few extra tricks up its sleeve. In Paris When it Sizzles, much of the fun can be found in the meta aspects on the film, which feel quite ahead of their time. As the pair talk about movie techniques and plot devices, so they happen on-screen. Hepburn, for example, says Sinatra would sing a line, and he does. Later she describes a character as handsome, "like Tony Curtis," and guess who shows up? Add to that the colorful streets of Paris, full of life and playful energy, and this is a thoroughly enjoyable potential classic that has been somewhat underrated and ignored over the years.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.