Breakfast at Tiffany's Reviews
The dialogue is naughty yet oblique enough for its time; Cat is cute and sad; George Peppard is dreamy as all-get-out; and Henry Mancini's iconic score is playful and mischievous. I prefer Marilyn Monroe to Audrey Hepburn in general, but I can't deny that the latter brings a level of sophistication and class that the former wouldn't have if she had been cast as Holly Golightly, which Truman Capote wanted her to be.
Seeing this again for the first time in a long time though has opened my eyes to an unsettling revelation: Holly Golightly is probably the first [gasp] Manic Pixie Dreamgirl! I've grown weary of the can't-be-tamed caged bird trope that has become a cliche pop culture identity with Karen Gillan's Amy Pond on "Doctor Who" and various other "too fucked up to love me" girls. I used to identify strongly with the winsome and mercurial Holly Golightly and she's still a rather complex and memorable character, but perhaps my impatience for the literary/filmic type has retroactively soured her for me.
I can see why this film is considered a classic: it's a sensitive and beautifully-shot love story that employs Mancini's soundtrack (read: Moon River) to a stunning effect. Hepburn is captivating in her career-defining role. But on the whole, I just couldn't get behind her. I wish that something in the film would tell me if that's ok. Should we root for her? Or should we see this as an indictment of upwardly-mobile American society? Should we see the ending as a sign that all any dreamer really needs is a swift kick in the pants?
It's almost a masterpiece - its best moments are among the best best moments in film history. But I can't develop any sympathy for Holly - like Paul, I think she needs to pull her head out of her behind and quit living as "a phony". Gorgeous film, entertaining, but one that leaves many more questions than answers.
Oh, and two final thoughts. (1) Mickey Rooney's character... wow. Racist. Reminds me of Long Duk Dong in Sixteen Candles... which brings me to (2): this is John Hughes's favourite film ever, right? It has to be...
Now this is what I like to see. Breakfast at Tiffany's is one of those classic movies that has a great legacy so many years later because it's just that good. This is the iconic Hepburn movie for a reason.
Audrey makes a great Holly Golightly, and it's even more impressive when you consider how different the outgoing, flighty character is from how the actress was in real life. Her chemistry on-screen with George Peppard is immediate, and makes the whole convoluted relationship between the two work. And immensely satisfying in the end.
Watching Breakfast at Tiffany's really highlights how pale in comparison these kinds of movies have become in recent years. Check it out. It leads you in a lot of different directions, and you'll enjoy every turn and twist.
Second watch: Okay, A LOT better than I originally thought.... Loved the story, I really want to read the book now! I loved the superficiality of class and wealth. However I wonder the cat was not listed in the cast, what an amazing cast. But Mickey Rooney as an Asian man is all kinds of racially offensive.... just saying...
It is first and foremost, very much a Capote novel. Underneath all of the crazy romantic scenarios, silly antics, bizzare characters and clever dialog, it is quite a dark and slightly disconcerting story.
Having said that, it is also very much the quintessentia Audrey Hepburn vehicle. Without her grace, beauty and charm, this would be a VERY different (much darker) film. As a matter of fact she comes across as almost TOO polished and refined to actually be the character she is portraying...but she's so delightful to watch that you will find yourself forgiving that fact and enjoy the experience.
It really is a good film, with a great cast and a sountrack that is to die for.
A young New York socialite becomes interested in a young man who has moved into her apartment building.
"Breakfast at Tiffany's" preserves an idyllic time and place in the American psyche, New York City between WWII and The Great Society. A time when being hip and urbane were accessible (and desirable) to the middle-class.
The film's two romantic protagonists are Holly Golightly, played wonderfully by Audrey Hepburn, and Paul Varjak, played by George Peppard in an understated performance that well complements Hepburn's. Holly is an aspiring socialite and party-girl looking for a wealthy sugar daddy. Paul is an aspiring writer and kept-man of a wealthy older woman. Neither is happy, but both go through the motions in a swirl of Manhattan parties and parings.
Everything falls nicely into place in this romantic-comedy; directing, musical score, acting, and screenplay. Filmed on location in New York this is a beautiful, captivating movie, that has not only aged well, but is a time machine to a wonderful place that probably really never existed except in our imagination.