May 11, 2008

Movie review: Breakfast At Tiffany's

Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1961: Lula Mae Barnes (Audrey Hepburn) survives an abusive home, tweenage homelessness, and marriage at 14 to become a bipolar pathological liar who calls herself "Holly Golightly". She escapes to New York, where she lives off of prostitution, pornography, and organized crime. Paul Varjak (George Peppard), her new neighbour, is a writer-turned-rent-boy. Love blooms when she takes him shoplifting; but she rebuffs Paul in favour of being a rich man's mistress, even after her long-lost brother - the alleged reason for her mercenary greed - dies in an accident. Meanwhile, "Moon River" plays incessantly.

"Holly" is eventually arrested, and her sugar daddy rejects her. When she exiles her cat onto the mean streets of New York, Paul realizes just how crazy she is and tries to get away, but at the last minute she changes her mind and ensnares him. It seems clear from the ending that he will never escape.

Curiously, this paean to alcoholism, madness, and pack-a-day smoking is played as romantic comedy rather than horror/tragedy.

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