Roman Holiday Reviews
Although the movie isn't a masterpiece, it's easy to understand why Audrey became a star after it. She has this natural way of acting,when she smiles the whole screen lights up.
Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn absorb every scene. Their screen presence is something to behold, and also a source of nostalgia... I don't think it's easy to find performers with their level of distinction and their sort of transparent delivery. In their hands, the dialogue gains a great deal of fluidity and depth. They effortlessly and believably carry the film in all of its delicate mood changes, with its veiled irreverence, its wit, its drama, and its slapstick. However, this isn't just a performance-showcase film, everything about it is outstanding, and I could personally watch it a third time only for the wonderful exteriors, or for the intelligent screenplay.
William Wyler is more than happy to show the beautiful faces of the city and take his characters on wild, illegal drives across its streets. Italians are shown as friendly and warm people that the Princess and the journalist are more than happy to meet.
A sharp sense of humor, panoramic views of the buildings of Rome, music, and romance abound, but don't overshadow the fundamental sadness of the story: two people very keen on lying to each other fall in love, and then, because of their backgrounds, cannot remain together. All ends well but not too well, and such an unlikely episode ends in a rather realistic way. The film is ultimately satisfying and neither self-indulgent nor a crowd-pleaser, and that's one of the things that really sets it apart.
From Princess Ann's yearning for freedom to Joe's final sacrifice, Roman Holiday takes on some dense themes without it ever feeling heavy, and it's a film to be charmed by and enjoy. A classic, one of the films you simply have to watch at some point in your life.
A bored and sheltered princess escapes her guardians and falls in love with an American newsman in Rome.
With a very nice blend of fantasy and reality, and two very likable stars, Roman Holiday is both entertaining and thoughtful. Sometimes it is very funny, and at other times it makes you feel a great sympathy and warmth towards the characters. Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck are ideal in the leading roles, and the story is very clever in getting a lot of mileage out of a simple idea without pushing things too far, which makes it quite effective.
The idea of Princess Ann (Audrey) slipping away unnoticed and unrecognized for a day of fun and freedom from responsibility is of course fanciful, but it works for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is Peck's role as a pragmatic newsman. He is a good balance for Hepburn's charm and energy, remaining calm and logical without ever becoming cold or distant. You feel as if you could spend a lot more than a couple of hours in their company. And how could you improve on Eddie Albert's performance as Peck's photographer friend? The movie also adds in the atmosphere of Rome itself, with some creative scenes that make good use of the setting.
There are many fine moments in a story that at times seems almost like a daydream, and then it brings the characters back to reality in a moving way. It's not an easy combination to pull off, but here it all fits together very well, to make the kind of classic worth remembering, and one which you can watch and enjoy more than once.
The story finds Princess Ann of Englandon a goodwill tour through Europe. Finally, while in Rome, she's had enough of her strict entourage and demanding schedule and decides to take to the streets in a display of defiance and sheer rebellion. Along the way, she meets dashing Gregory Peck who plays a hapless American journalist who could make a pretty penny off the story of the renegade princess.
What ensues is a comedic story that bubbles with giddiness and tender-hearted moments. Audrey Hepburn delivers a performance (her first in a major motion picture) that makes you think, "That girl deserved that Oscar!"
William Wyler's directing and cinematography are superb; as are Edith Head's costumes. Definitely, a must-see classic filled with tons of memorable moments that will call you to watch the movie over and over again!