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BREAKFAST AT TIFFANYS
Movie Reviews

BREAKFAST AT TIFFANYS
Movie Reviews
by Eli Manning

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Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1961
Classic Movie Reviews
Directed by Blake Edwards
Starring Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard
Buddy Epsen and Mickey Rooney


Synopsis:

Struggling writer Paul Varjak moves into a New York apartment building and becomes intrigued by his pretty, quirky neighbor, Holly Golightly. Holly's lifestyle confuses and fascinates Paul; in public she flits through parties with a sexy, sophisticated air, but when they're alone she changes into a sweetly vulnerable bundle of neuroses.

Review:

Based on Truman Capote's best selling book, Breakfast at Tiffany's is a film about the fear of being yourself. This film is like an analogy of high school, with everyone playing certain roles to get what they think they want. Audrey Hepburn plays the classic role of Holly Golightly, a woman who is the ultimate role player. And what happens when people play roles for so long is, they forget when the role started, and who they were in the first place. Tiffany's is the place where Holly can remind herself of who she is, as the store represents the metaphor of knowing you're not completely lost if you have a place to go to feel free.

Along comes Paul 'Fred' Varjak, a stuggling writer who seems to have lost his way. He moves into the same apartment building as Holly and they soon become fast friends. Paul is fasinated by Holly and her life. He first meets her playing a role, then during a moment of comfort, she begins to subconsciously open up to him. She becomes one person when others are around and another when she's alone with him. Of course they are falling in love with each other because they are making each other better people. But having faith in yourself to be who you actually are is one of the hardest things for some people to do. It's a very scary thing, and at its core it's because they don't love themselves. In order to love someone else, you must be yourself, and in order to be yourself, you must love yourself and who you actually are.

George Peppard's character Paul is the heart and soul of this film. He, like Holly, uses his body to earn his keep, and is deeply dependent on others to survive. He was a writer, but it's hard to write when you don't like yourself, and Paul is completely blocked. (Ironically the writer himself, Truman Capote, found himself in the same boat after publishing his book In Cold Blood. Capote developed writer's block because he couldn't stand himself after his sketchy dealings in manufacturing the drama in his non-fiction crime drama, and never wrote another book again.) Paul and Holly have a lot in common, and share an instant connection.

The best scenes in this film are the ones between Paul and Holly. When they're together it's like they are both far away from the rest of the world. The fears they have about the world are gone, as they both feel free and open for the first time in their lives.

This film is not a dark, gritty and moody character-study like the book. It's bright, comical and flashy, as director Blake Edwards really counters the subtext with a candy-store-style background in New York City. The art direction and cinematography are bright and positive during these otherwise sad and painful scenes. It's a masterstroke in storytelling, as Edwards shows us that this world and these characters are a lot like other people. We think we want certain things because it will make us happier, but what really happens is that going after superficial things pushes us farther away from who we really are.

This is a movie that any fan of film should see, as it's very much a universal movie, with a theme that stands the test of time. The only real tragedy is the role of the Chinese upstairs neighbor played by Mickey Rooney, who is obviously not Chinese. It's disgusting, actually, watching this completely stereotypical role, and is an insult to the Asian population. But bear through those scenes and enjoy the rest of this truly classic film.

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