130 of 1001 Movies: Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

I would have never guessed this classic was about two high end prostitutes falling in love. Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a movie I’ve always heard talked about, or referred to, especially since Audrey Hepburn became a trend just as something people wanted to act like they knew something about. There is a lot about the movie that is just terribly dated, and other things that will make it one of the most charming movies you will watch. I stand by my belief that Mickey Rooney can ruin a movie with his name automatically being attached to it. Blake Edwards directs this romantic movie that brings the 1960s scene in New York to life around the wealthy and those who want into it.

Holly is a New York socialite, who essentially is hired as an escort by man. Holly seems ready for something deeper despite the fact she enjoys what her wealthy dates bring her. When a man, Paul, moves into her apartment she instantly finds him catching her eye. Paul also can’t help but notice her too, but he has his own companion to consider as well that helps take of him. Even though he is still a struggling writer though he wants to win the heart of the woman who lives in the same apartment building as him.

What does bring the movie alive, and make you overlook the very bizarre performance from Rooney, is the chemistry between Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard. I also don’t think I’ve watched a movie where the lead character is named Holly thus far. There is one huge problem as I’ve mentioned that takes away from the movie for me though, and that is Mickey Rooney as Mr. Yunioshi. Having white actors portray characters of the opposite race wasn’t uncommon then, or before, and this was done for comedic effect. Someone thought it would be funny to have Rooney dressed up as a very unattractive man and over exaggerating Asian stereotypes in the movie. It’s painful to watch.

Getting back to Hepburn though, whenever she is on screen it really does light up the whole movie. You can tell she is having fun in the role, and she seems like someone anyone would genuinely be drawn to. Peppard also works well as her romantic leading man, Paul. The guy isn’t too overly distracting so he doesn’t take away from the central character of Holly, but he has cute enough boy looks that you would understand her appeal. They also both essentially do the same thing for a living…help the wealthy have a nice piece of arm candy.

I also can’t help but sometimes wish movies were still shot in Technicolor as well. The colors are so beautiful and vivid from films shot during the time that was used. This is one of those movies that takes advantage of being in color, and even though Holly is wearing black a good bit there is just something that pops about the colors in the film.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a great romantic movie, but if you’re not a romantic enthusiast then this probably won’t appeal to you. You have a very romantic soundtrack to contribute to the atmosphere of the movie. The party scenes are fun, and the chemistry is great, but there are some characters that are useless plot wise, and instead just weaken the film…I’m talking about you Mr. Yunioshi. I’m pretty sure I didn’t sleep as well as I could after having to see the awfulness of that.

Rating 8 of 10.

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