Study Guide

Gigi Coming of Age

Coming of Age

HONORÉ (singing): Thank heaven for little girls, for little girls get bigger every day [...]

This may just be one of the most controversial songs in the history of movie musicals. Some people are totally creeped out by the dirty-old-man idea of singing about the appeal of little girls; others are telling them to get over it, it's France, it's 1900, and he only likes little girls because they grow up, for Pete's sake. Anyway, the song lets us know that we're about to see one of those little girls get bigger. Every day.

MADAM ALVAREZ: Gigi, where have you been?

GIGI: Playing in the park. I had to, Grandmama. My foot fell asleep in Latin class and I couldn't get it to wake up.

This is our first look at Gigi, and she seems about six-years-old here with this mischievous excuse. Even if she's a teen, she's young enough for her grandmother to worry when she's late.

AUNT ALICIA: Do you know what love is made of?

GIGI: Cigars and jewelry?

GIGI (singing): I don't understand the Parisians,
/wasting every lovely night on romance.

Gigi sings an entire number about how she just doesn't get the appeal of romance and love when there are so many other fun things to do. The song gives us two important pieces of info: first, she's too young to understand. Second, she's been paying very close attention.

GASTON: If I lose, what would you really like? Silk stockings?

GIGI: Oh no, silk stockings make my legs itch. What I would really like is a nile-green corset with rococo roses embroidered on the garters, or a new roll for the player piano.

Here's another exchange meant to present Gigi as a girl who's just playing with grownup things.

AUNT ALICIA: Has it ever occurred to you that Gigi...

MADAM ALVAREZ: Gigi...it hadn't occurred to me...

AUNT ALICIA: Well it won't if it starts from the beginning with a lack of tact.

This is just like that time that kid in that movie came back from summer break without his braces. It dawns on the sisters that Gigi has been seen and appreciated in Gaston's company at Trouville—could it be a possibility? They need to make their move ASAP if they're going to land Gaston for Gigi.

GIGI: Don't I look Great Lady-ish?

GASTON: You look like an organ grinder's monkey.

Ever think about your middle school fashion choices and just, you know, wince? Even all dressed up, Gaston still sees her as a girl. For now. He reconsiders a few minutes later.

GASTON (singing): [...] you're not at all that funny little girl I knew/ oh no, overnight, there's been a breathless change in you.

Seriously? All that's changed about Gigi is that she's been dressed up in grownup clothes. What's changed is Gaston's lust levels.

GIGI: When it's over, Gaston Lachaille goes off with another lady. And I have only to go into another gentleman's bed. That won't do for me. I'm not changeable. That won't do for me. Grandmama and Aunt Alicia are on your side, but this concerns me too. And I think I should have something to say about it. And what I say is, it won't work. It won't work!

Diagnosis: Adulthood. Gigi understands more about Gaston than he thinks, and she's letting him hear it. Even though he wants to avoid this conversation, she wants a say in her future, and she's pipin' up. After this though, she surrenders and says she'd rather have him this way than not at all. Our hearts are breaking. 

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