I love Grace Kelly. She has an effortless style and elegance about her that I really wish I could achieve. I went to see the exhibit of her wardrobe when it came to Bendigo a few years ago and that synched the deal for me: Grace Kelly and her wardrobe are amazing. So when a friend of mine announced that the girls would be going to see Grace of Monaco for her birthday, I was pretty keen.
Grace of Monaco is certainly a chick flick if ever there was one. It centres around Grace and her struggles with her marriage, her position as Princess of Monaco and her Hollywood career. The film is full of lovely clothes, beautiful countryside, amazing palaces and tears. The plot is slow and character based. No action here ladies. It also had too many close-ups. Way too many. Almost every second or third shot was a super close-up of Nicole’s face, focusing on her eyes, nose and mouth. It gave a sense of claustrophobia to the film, which would have been a nice touch if used sparingly. However, it was definitely overdone, giving the film a slow, cramped and disjointed feel. The director, Olivier Dahan, should have taken his queues from Grace Kelly’s fashion style: less is more. The ending was also a little lacking in panache. It was far to ambiguous for my liking. After following Grace on her struggles, I wanted to have a decision made. I wanted to know how she felt after she made her stand. I was left stranded, still uncertain about whether it was a happy ending or not. While this form of ending has its merits, I felt that this movie needed more clarity.
However, it did have a very strong message about marriage. Marriage, Grace of Monaco tells us, isn’t about the fairy tale. It isn’t about white dress and Prince Charming, the honeymoon and the palace. Marriage is about sticking together through thick and thin. It’s about both parties giving themselves to the other in unconditional love. It means sacrificing for the person you love. Marriage means children and what is best for them. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a movie that states these values so strongly. Perhaps this is because, once, everyone understood these values to be inherent in marriage; intrinsic principles that didn’t need explaining. But, needs must. It is great to see a film that stands up for tough love in the midst of wishy-washy images of ‘free love’.
Overall, this was a film that just missed out on being really good. Its beautiful scenery and, of course, clothing, made the film sparkle. But the devil is in the detail. The cinematography killed this film, which would otherwise have been a lovely trip down memory lane spiced up with a spirited defence of traditional marriage.