Love in the Afternoon – Premiere Magazine

Love in the Afternoon was, I guess, the first of Billy Wilder’s great script collaborations with I.A.L. Diamond. (I have a fantasy about the way they worked together, checking into an office every day like bankers and effortlessly pounding out some of the greatest romantic comedies in history.) There is a sequence in the movie that kills me. Audrey Hepburn is in love with Gary Cooper, a notorious but aging Lothario who is rich enough to travel with his own string troupe. Trying to make him jealous. Hepburn leaves a (fake) laundry list of her lovers on Cooper’s Dictaphone machine. Later, he hears her message and laughs. Then he listens again. He reaches for the booze cart. As he listens to her dictation again and again, he pushes the cart over to the musicians still playing him a spirited tune. They all get drunk together, the music gets slower and slower, and the cart goes back and forth as Cooper tries to block out his unfamiliar jealousy. Lesser writers would have just sent Cooper to a bar. Wilder and Diamond made a five-star meal out of melancholy.

Courtesy of Premiere – Cameron Crowe –  March, 1993