Everyone has heard of My Fair Lady, or at least I have, and yet I have never actually seen it. Until now.
The film begins with Professor Henry Higgins, played by Rex Harrison, going on a tirade about proper speaking etiquette and promptly chews out Cockney lass Eliza Dolittle, played by Audrey Hepburn, for her accent.
The professor makes a bold claim stating that he could teach the girl Eliza to speak proper English within six months. The following morning, Eliza shows up on the professor’s doorstep, taking up his offer.
After many torturous months for both Eliza and Henry, and a few hilarious songs thrown in including a strange slow-mo musical number at Ascot Racetracks, she finally manages to speak without her Cockney accent. Though you can never quite take the Cockney out of the lass.
The best scene by far was at the Ascot Racetracks, Eliza’s first outing as a ‘new’ woman. And it really is funny. With instructions to only speak about the weather and illness, Eliza launches into a speech about an aunt who supposedly died of influenza but states the aunt was more likely killed by a family member trying to steal a hat. Eliza’s true personality just shines right on through the act.
My Fair Lady, is of course a look at the British class system and classism at its finest (or worst depending on how you look at it). The idea that certain accents exude wealth while others are common as muck is exactly what this film is about.
As older films go, this one did not feel dated and the key themes were relatable even in 2016.
I highly recommend checking this one out if you have never seen it.