Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Dir: Blake Edwards
1961
By absolute coincidence, I wound up watching a second film this month based on a Capote novel,
although you couldn’t get further apart in tone. I tried to watch this film once before and jumped ship after bloody Mickey Rooney turned up with his buck-teethed Jappo atrocity. Two words for you, Mr. Rooney: Internment Camp. May you be haunted forever by the ghosts of Manzanar. (On the other hand, the Japanese may get as offended by this as “Rising Sun” (i.e. they don’t). And they love Audrey Hepburn more than we do.)
That out of the way, the rest of the film was cutesy-cutesy, with plenty of charm from Audrey Hepburn, though her dialog was a bit laden-down with exposition and rang a bit flat. But then again, as her agent O.J. (played wonderfully in two scenes by Martin Balsam) notes, “she’s a phony, but she’s a real phony. She believes in it.” That’s probably good advice for watching the film. Both Hepburn and co-star George Peppard were about 32 when they filmed this, they look so much older than that.
Good friend Mr. C reminded me that this film influenced the rest of the ’60s that followed, as Miss Golightly was a template upon which many a female molded themselves. (Poor Mr. C, that must have been agony.)
I actually choked up at the end, with its rainy-street reconciliation, but that was from my empathy for the lost cat “Cat” who got chucked out the taxi by a petulant Miss Golightly and was (temporarily) left to fend for himself in the downpour. If my wife was here (she’s on a business trip) she would have been sniffing too. That is, if she hadn’t snapped the DVD in two upon the appearance of Buckteeth.
(Great Mancini score, though I’ve never been a fan of “Moon River,” the song Hepburn plays on guitar while sitting on her fire escape. Something about the line “my huckleberry friend” rubs me the wrong way.)

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