A little too loose
Regina (Audrey Hepburn) is the wife of a seemingly rich man. When she returns from vacation to find their Paris apartment vacant, the danger and intrigue only seem to deepen. Her husband is dead, apparently trying to skip town, and now several strangers are asking questions she has no answers to. Cary Grant plays the stranger who seems like the only one who wants to help her - but his motives are called in question, and quite frequently at that. From there, well, I'll leave the details up to you. This film is your prototype romantic comedy thriller, which is about as good of a summary as you'll really need.
Nevermind that two of the film's biggest secrets were plain as day for any regular movie watcher. It's the chase and the chemistry between Hepburn and Grant that makes the film work. It's a shame this was the only time these two were ever paired up.
My main issue with Charade is that it is too focused on the current timeline. Of itself, that's not a grave sin, but what happened in the past is of huge importance here, and we don't get as good an idea of the characters' relation to what's happened, nor the biggest thing in my mind, the dramatic changes in Regina's life.
I feel like Charade was envisioned as fun, flirtatious picture, one going strictly for audience appeal (which, for a studio, there's nothing better). It comes close to something better, though, and I'm disappointed they didn't tighten it up. A little more redirection and some depth in the peripheral characters would have meant a lot here. I'm curious about the recent remake, The Truth About Charlie and whether they actually made it better.
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