Deep Blue Something is a one-hit wonder. The only song of theirs that managed to grace the radio waves references (and is named after) Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The wink is well deserved. Since its premiere in 1961, Breakfast at Tiffany’s has become a classic . The image of Audrey Hepburn, hair piled on top of her head, sporting huge sunglasses and a skinny cigarette holder, is featured on everything from mugs to t-shirts.
For those only familiar with the icon, I will provide a brief run-down of the actual story. In Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Audrey Hepburn plays Holly Golightly, a New York socialite who divides time between cocktail parties, pursuits of the rich and mooning over Tiffany’s jewelry displays. Her superficial existence is altered when Paul Varjak (George Peppard), a handsome aspiring writer, moves into her building. Romance and the angst that goes with an affair ensue.
While I appreciate the whimsy of Holly Golightly’s character, I have to say, I am not a huge fan of the film itself. The plot is slow. Mickey Rooney has a cameo as a disgruntled Asian neighbor that is more than a little racist. My favorite part is probably the end, because decisions are finally solidified instead of tossed around. The best quote is bitter. Holly says it when comparing her relationships with men to her household cat:
“Poor cat! Poor slob! Poor slob without a name! The way I see it, I haven’t got the right to give him one. We don’t belong to each other. We just took it up one day by the river. I don’t want to own anything until I find a place where me and things go together.”
The less-referenced portion of Hepburn’s filmography is actually better than Breakfast at Tiffanys. Three Hepburn flicks that I personally appreciate the most are…
- Wait Until Dark (1967) – Heburn is Susy Hendrix, a woman who has recently lost her vision. Unbeknownst to her, Suzy’s junkie friend plants a creepy doll stuffed with drugs in her apartment. When the dealers come looking for the stash, Susy is caught in the crossfire and forced to defend herself. Wait Until Dark is by far Hepburn at her most badass. Unlike previous roles where all she is asked to do is sit pretty, Hepburn is anything but demure. Not only does she take on a posse of street thugs, she does it blind! Crazy!
- Two For the Road (1967) – Hepburn is Joanna Wallace, married to Mark Wallace (a younger, hotter Albert Finney – the father from Big Fish). The couple is driving through the European countryside on a holiday, perpetually bickering under the canvas top of a sporty convertible. Years together has caused their relationship to grow sour. Through the course of the trip, we see flashbacks of how their love began. Hepburn is great at accurately portraying transitions in time. Her past self is linked to her present in a believable way. Plus all of the fighting followed by violent kissing is just plain sexy.
- Funny Face (1957) – Hepburn is Jo Stockton, a bookish woman who captures the interest of fashion photographer Dick Avery (Fred Astaire). Jo needs someone to trim her bangs, and Dick is up for the challenge. Warning: Funny Face is a musical. The score was written by the king of musicals, George Gershwin. If you hate musicals, you may dry heave during a couple of scenes. Nevertheless, if you are willing to accept the journey (or, as the final scene asks, float downriver) you will be pleased by a serenade in a darkroom, one in which Astaire basically sings “Man, you are a weird-looking broadddd!” Oh, and a sequence with Audrey Hepburn dancing in chic black tap pants in a smoky beatnik bar!
Audrey Hepburn was a waft of a woman that was as versatile as she was classy. Those willing to part with their tiaras will enjoy watching her embody a whole new set of characters.Tags: Audrey Hepburn, breakfast at tiffanys, movies