Title: Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Director: Blake Edwards
Screenwriter: George Axelrod
based on the novel by Truman Capote
Music: Henry Mancini
Cinematography: Franz Planer
José Luis de Vilallonga
For the sake of Audrey Hepburn, BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S has glamorized her beauty and elegance up to a paramount limit which nowadays seems difficult to imitate, if only the star power could still buoy a film all by itself. Directed by comedy veteran Blake Edwards (OPERATION PETTICOAT 1959; THE GREAT RACE 1965; VICTOR VICTORIA 1982) and adapted from Truman Capote’s much more provocative source novel (e.g. our protagonist’s homosexuality has been completely discarded), the watered-down film version could still hold many on-lookers’ attention since Hepburn magnifies her much maturer charisma (compared with ROME HOLIDAY 1954) in a disgraceful call-girl paradigm, which Capote originally conceived for Marilyn Monroe. It may be uneasy to find out the once goddess-princess swerves to a far more derogatory track as a gold-digger courtesan, and this time her savior is not a knight in shining armor (as Richard Gere in PRETTY WOMAN 1990), ironically condescending and chauvinistic, the prince charming is her mirrored other-half, an unsuccessful writer-gigolo, whose (inexplicable) awaken dignity serves as the final wake-up call to trawl back both Hepburn’s Holly and the film back on the morally-correct trail.
Hepburn’s rendition of Henry Mancini’s MOON RIVER is the emblem of a life-time achievement as a true idol, the inherent flair cannot be outstripped, plus she is transcendently stylish in every occasion, which has transformed the film into a surrealistic fete for the star, like in the party scenes, the material world is shallow but deadly irresistible! The “lucky man” George Peppard may fall short of allure to match Mrs. Hepburn, but also should not be taken as the fair game, which cannot be dispensed to anyone else but Mickey Rooney’s OTT and disagreeable portrayal of the Japanese neighbour living upstairs (it supposes to be funny, right?); an overpoweringly superior Patricia Neal is another treat, whose low voice and towering poise betrays a diva living inside.
The film may be fuzzy sometimes, but Holly’s character development never be tainted by the unorthodox view of value (as long as there will be corrective moment to turn it around before the coda, which is the reason why Billy Wilder’s SOME LIKE IT HOT 1959, is a much pluckier film than this one), the well-anticipated paradigm-shift preaching may sound corny, but who would allow a cute pussy straying in the streets under the pouring rain, the film knows exactly how to manipulate our sympathies and frailty, so they did it, again!