Are you willing to read subtitles in order to enjoy great 1950's costumes and sets? (or do you speak fluent French?) Because I have the film for you! Populaire is a charming French film about Rose Pamphyle, a small town girl who dreams of being a modern woman- aka a secretary. She gets her chance, but is a pretty terrible secretary; except she can type very fast which gives her new employer Louis Echard a grand idea. He wants to train her to enter into speed typing competitions as he thinks she has a natural gift for typing! Her training commences but not without several bumps in the road first.
I will start by saying I am not one to like a romantic comedy in general, and I would never sit down to watch and American rom-com because they are usual brain-rot inducing awful, but when a film is set anytime before 1960 I get interested. I figured I would watch this film for the costumes and if it was good it would be a nice surprise. The film was actually quite good, the male leads were sexist and rude sometimes, which I suppose is accurate for 1959 when the film is set, but is still jarring and annoying for a modern feminist like me! The good thing is the female leads are taking none of it and put the boys in their place a few times too.
The costumes overall were super lovely and perfectly 50's! Rose as the young heroine of the film gets to wear adorable 50's day dresses. Her look is definitely full skirted and innocent, with pastel colors and her hair in a little ponytail. Later on she gets to wear more bombshell looks as she starts gains some power and starts choosing her own clothes. The other female characters wear more form hugging wiggle dresses and even cigarette pants! There are some amazingly cute outfits in this film, it certainly makes me want more 50's dresses in my closet!
The other surprise was just how great and mid-century wonderful the sets and set decoration are in the film! The office where our leads meet (as Rose interviews to be a secretary) is full of great mid-century details, as are the various homes we enter following the characters. I mean just look at the glorious mustard yellow sofa in the photo below!
Make sure to check out Populaire, it is currently available on Netflix and to buy on Amazon instant video!