She said, "I think I remember the film?
And as I recall, I think, we both kinda liked it"
And I said, "Well, that's the one thing we've got"
- Deep Blue Something
If I lived in New York City, I probably wouldn't window shop at Tiffany's while enjoying my morning coffee and croissant. Still, when I watched Breakfast at Tiffany's for the first time last week, I understood the comfort the Holly Golightly character found in gazing at orderly, pretty, sparkly things. And that's about where any common ground between me and Holly ends.
You see, I can't remember a time when I didn't recognize this picture:
And my goodness, I was expecting adorable, sweet Audrey Hepburn ala Roman Holiday (one of my favorites!) or My Fair Lady (which is too long and has a shite ending, but which I feel a certain affinity to since it's based on George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion.) But Audrey's Holly Golightly character is just a pill. A P-I-L-L. As Berman, the Hollywood agent says in the film, "She's a phony, but she's a real phony."
In my mind, Breakfast at Tiffany's had always been linked with the posh and glamorous. But as the storyline unfolded, as much as I loved Hepburn's timeless outfits, I realized the glamor I'd always linked with the film was as phony as Holly Golightly herself. At its heart, the film's about a sad little girl who constantly insists that external factors hold the key to her happiness. Still, I loved the calm confidence the entire film exudes that firmly dates it as being pre-JFK assassination.
The film is much less about glamor, and much more about excess and overcompensation. At one point, as we watched the drunken apartment party unfold, Andy wondered out loud, "Is this supposed to be a social commentary on drinking?"
As the film wrapped up with the rainy scene in the alley, I couldn't help but feel surprised. I hadn't really liked it.
Not that I hated Breakfast in Tiffany's in those "I'm so disinterested in this I think I'll go clean the bathroom" or "I want my two hours back" ways. But after running into references to the film all the time, I'd always assumed it was just another charming Audrey Hepburn film.
Consider my curiosity sated.
Now, if I could just get that Deep Blue Something song out of my head. . . Ah well, better than having "Moon River" running through my head on repeat, eh?
Have you ever been surprised by a classic movie?