Why is Brigitte Bardot so perfect? That's the chief question to recur in my mind as I watched 1957's Une Parisienne. The plot of this otherwise disposable comedy is as generic as its title--people running around houses and bedrooms to discover or conceal adultery. Or to languidly pontificate on the necessity of adultery. None of it manages to exceed the allure of Bardot's physical proportions.
I guess she's most famous for her posterior but in this movie my eye was caught mostly by the juxtaposition of her shoulders, bust, neck, and chin.
After a complicated misunderstanding, she marries the government secretary she'd had a crush on (Henri Vidal). But, suspecting him of keeping a mistress, she starts fooling around herself with none other than His Highness, Prince Charles, played by none other than Charles Boyer.
He's clearly in this movie for one reason and one reason only; to make out with Brigitte Bardot. Their energy doesn't exactly crackle but each always seems sweetly delighted by the other. That was another thing about Bardot, maybe the more important thing, likely the thing that inspired philosophical essays about her--she was so self-possessed. She could play innocent (better when she was younger) but she never had that deer-in-the-headlights look or the confused panic affected by most leading ladies in the situations Bardot was typically placed in.
It's her lips, too. With the chin and the shoulders and the . . . Well, it's everything.
Une Parisienne is available on The Criterion Channel.