Breakfast at Tiffany's Reviews
"Breakfast at Tiffany's" is a charming movie starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard. Both actors are convincing in playing their parts and talented. Hepburn enthralls her audience with impeccable acting playing the role of Holly Golightly. Holly is a fascinating character that you can't help but love. Holly's character is easy to connect to, making you wish that Holly Golightly wasn't a fictional character. Not only is Holly beautiful, but she is incredibly quirky and hilarious. Though quite poor, Holly loves nothing more than Tiffany's and of course rich men. Holly earns her income by visiting a convict named Sally Tomato in prison. She tells him strange weather reports each week such as: "It's snowing in Hawaii" (This "job" becomes important later in the story).
One day, a handsome writer named Paul Varjack (Peppard), moves in next to Holly. As soon as Holly meets Paul, she decides to call him"Fred". She refers to "Fred" like this throughout most the film, due to the fact that he reminds her of her brother who is fighting in World War II. Paul initially finds Holly to be strange and ditsy. However, the couple become fast friends. Slowly but surely Paul begins to discover the complexities that make up Holly. Though she tries to come across as tough and unemotional, Paul discovers that she's quite the opposite on the inside. After a number of different events occur, Paul discovers that there really is more to Holly than just a pretty face.
Though he calls himself a writer, Paul hasn't written anything in five years. His "friend" Emily takes care of him when it comes to money. Because of his lack in finances, Holly has zero romantic interest in "Fred". Paul begins to fall in love with Holly, but Holly is guarded, frustrating Paul. Paul eventually uncovers the shocking reason: her real name is Lula Mae. "Holly's" husband shows up because he wants to take her back home. He finds Paul and begins to tell him Lula Mae's story. Lula Mae was married at fourteen and was as rough as it gets. She lived on a farm in the south with her husband and step-children. A man discovered her, and brought her to New York because he saw potential in her. He worked hard to fix Lula Mae's southern accent and turn her into a well-mannered, refined woman. This secret comes as quite a surprise as Holly is classy and seemingly perfect.
Holly becomes interested in a fellow named Rusty Trawler. She discovered him on a list called "The 15 Richest Men Under 50". Holly recognizes that Trawler is quite daft and not particularly good-looking, however, he's rich. Around this time, "Fred" confesses his love to Holly to which she replies "Thanks" (Don't you just love her?). Paul and Holly begin to grow apart and after finding out that Rusty Trawler's money is all his parents, Holly moves on to Jose. Jose is an attractive (and of course rich) Brazilian whose family is of high social status in their country. She becomes infatuated with him and does everything in her power to become the perfect Brazilian wife. Holly and Jose plan to get married. Paul finds this situation ridiculous and calls Holly out. After the truth about her previously mentioned job visiting Sally Tomato is revealed, Jose calls off the engagement to protect his reputation and image. After a big fight, Holly finally breaks and tells Paul that she loves him too. The movie closes with Holly and Paul together.
Some may find the plot slow and anticlimactic. If you're looking for a movie with action, this may not be the film for you. The plot develops slowly but is so lovely. If anything, the quotes, actors, set, and clothing should be incentive enough to watch "Breakfast at Tiffany's". There are hilarious and inspiring quotes tastefully sprinkled throughout the film. The clothing worn by all the characters, but particularly Ms. Hepburn are top notch. By the end of the movie, you're inspired not only by Holly's spontaneity, but the heartening message of staying true to yourself and following your heart.
I so wish there had been a sequel about fifteen years later.
It wasn't all bad; the film is beautifully shot, and there are a couple of chuckles here and there, but I probably wouldn't recommend this one.
Funny, well acted, and an interesting story makes this classic still hold up.
But what isn't looked at as much is the fact that the character is a waste of celluloid. Forget about the bad teeth and racism, there is nothing for Hiroshi to do, not depth, no dimension, the character itself is a type, which may be what goes in hand with the portrayal, and yet it is indicative of a problem with the film in general: it deals more in types than in giving us fully dimensional human beings to be empathic with. There is no empathy with Hiroshi, he is just... WRONG, in EVERY WAY!
Okay, over with that, good. Let's move on.
Audrey Hepburn is the light of the movie, even when (or because of) not having much to do aside from being sassy and being that Holly Golightly way of sort of being above everyone around her. Despite the qualities that might or should make her seem too much to take, that she has her ways of being a "free spirit" (that is, stubborn and difficult and such), Hepburn is always a humanizing force and is a joy to watch, especially near the end as the conflicts that Holly has been dodging, artfully or otherwise, come to a head with George Peppard's character. In a sense it's fitting that the cat, named I think 'Cat', is her one constant companion as Holly is like a super-stylish cat, always going about, never tied down, rarely showing her emotions (if she can help it).
He, by the way, may not fare quite so well, but a large part of that is that Peppard plays Paul as kind of a dullard, a man with little personality but, hey, he's the male lead, he's not an a-hole, so he'll be the love interest (or constantly trying to be, as Holly is the kind of girl who, well, can't be tied down). I think what makes the movie just so... okay for me is that the movie takes too long to really get going. By this I mean into making conflict for Holly more palpable; this happens when Buddy Ebsen enters in the picture, as the actual husband for Holly (not her real name, spoiler), and what it means as far as this past life being left behind for this new life in New York as a call girl (or, you know, we might see her as a call girl if it wasn't so 1961 and still in the Hayes Code era, one such thing I'm sure Capote's book is different). Before this, the movie is trying to be funny by (sigh) Rooney, and by some quasi-shenanigans in a giant party scene at Holly's pad, featuring a good if brief appearance by Martin Balsam, but it's really a drama with little moments of funny banter.
I wish I could express in a more coherent way why I didn't click with this, but I didn't. It's a movie that wants to get by so much on the aura of Holly, but it may be more Paul's journey, of seeing this character through his eyes, and in that way the movie hasn't dated well either, aside from the spots of racism. In the 'of course, but maybe' of this movie, it's easy to say that of course Breakfast at Tiffany's shows a more independent woman than would have been seen in movies even ten years before this - Holly lives on her own, supports herself (albeit through some dubious means), and isn't tied down to one man. But what surrounds a lot of the attitudes, even if you have to dig a little or not too deep for it, is still in a time period before women got into a feminist movement. Holly could be independent and go her own way... but can she really? What does that George Peppard speech to her from outside the cab speak to? If you love someone you must belong? What about having space in a relationship? It's a little deceptive about its ethos for freedom, sexual or otherwise, or about comittments in general.
So is it a classic? Maybe for some. I found Breakfast at Tiffany's to be that over-used 'O' word and has to be applied here: it's overrated. Period.
If I wrote this review of Breakfast at Tiffany's during my first viewing, then what you are reading wouldn't have an optimistic tone; at the time, the film lacked a sense of purpose and featured a protagonist that is difficult to empathise with. Thankfully after my fourth or fifth viewing, the film has warmed up to me and I have finally seen the difficult to find shadings of Holly Golightly and the true intentions of George Axelrod's script.
Breakfast at Tiffany's is a film that I feel has lost its impact over time; during the time of its release, the film have touched on ideas that were certainly bold, given the restrictions and standards that had to be maintained in 1960s Hollywood cinema. The film avoids trouble from the film censors by tuning down the subjects that the film discusses about. Behind the film's gloss, are subjects of drugs, prostitution, and sexual integrity; these were elements that were blind to me during my first viewing as I was simply distracted by the rambling dialogue of Holly, trying the best that I can to understand what exactly that drives her. The more I watch this film, the more it was clear to me what exactly her intentions were, and it all boils down to class. This is a woman who has deluded herself to the idea that happiness could only be found through money, jewellery, and social status; to the point where a simple life is just not enough for her. This is a person who has sacrificed her body and time in order to gain one step close to her dream; and if there was a shortcut in achieving it, she would not even hesitate to take it. Finding the inner shadings of this character allowed me to find pleasure in revisiting Holly's life.
Before all of that, I simply saw Breakfast at Tiffany's as a romantic comedy driven between Holly and Paul's chemistry. At first, I never understood why he reacted so relaxed and uncritical of her during their first meeting, but now I saw it as him being mesmerized by her charming and bubbly attitude; with the heart stopping moment being the one where she asks him "How do I look?" I was love struck the moment I first encountered that scene and seeing this film about five or six times, and it still hits through me like an arrow. Immediately I was on board with their relationship, constantly on an emotional edge, hoping and wishing that they would push their relationship even further and eventually end up happily together. The film certainly does not make this easy as Axelrod, demands the audience's patience as it is of high importance to the film that their relationship to be explored as effective and as exhaustive as possible. Axelrod wanted to get the idea across that Paul is there in Holly's life to bring her down to the level that would make her happy, shaking her from this delusion of the high and rich; and done so in a way that does not completely spell it out for the audience.
Another thing that made me want to come back time and time again was the film's beautiful and glossy production design. Though the set of Holly's apartment is rather empty and lacking in anything fabulous, it does however effectively emphasise Holly herself; whenever she steps out in her slimming black dress with her jewellery and her infectiously classy charm, I could not help but be entranced, even long after the film has ended. Outside the apartment, the film takes us to Manhattan, and what a wonderful sight it is. Blake Edwards and his cinematographer, Franz Planer, have glamorised the city in such a way that my mind cannot help but get an urge for me to go back there. The film also drew me in with Henry Mancini's score; showing such beauty and tenderness, creating the emotional impact behind the film's visual gloss.
Blake Edwards has been known as a comedic director; notably the Pink Panther series with Peter Sellers and his light but slapstick sense of humour is certainly present in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Scenes including, the party sequence, and the arrest of Holly were moments filled with so much humour that it is hard to forget it. Along with these great and amusing sequences, come with ones that are now considered dated and offensive. The creation of Mickey Rooney's Mr. Yunioshi was certainly pushing it to the edge, where comedy is simply gone and all I see is ignorant racism; gladly his presence was not abundant enough for me to aggressively hate on.
As time pass and new generation of film viewers emerge, learning from previously established popular phenomenons; Holly Golightly would be one that would remain unforgettable and timeless. Audrey Hepburn has delivered through her role in this film a person that women could physically admire and ambitiously capture. The sad thing is that many of them do not seem to know the ideas that this character is trying to advocate during the bulk of this film; but nevertheless, Hepburn's transformation to Holly was a dazzling one and definitely deserving of the credit that she has received from it. It is difficult for me to come towards a decision on whether or not this here was her best performance; as films like My Fair Lady prove her to be versatile and brave actress.
I doubt Breakfast at Tiffany's would lose its ability to draw in new and young viewers, but it seems as time moves on, aspects of the film seem to wither and lose effect; to the point where it could be seen as hostile and disrespectful. I recommend seeing it, but enter with caution.