Its hard to imagine a more difficult feat than disliking Audrey Hepburn, but there was no way to avoid it after sitting through this Truman Capote weeper about two prostitutes trying to make it in the Big City. George Peppard is Paul Varjak, Aspiring Writer and Kept Boy for "2-E" (Patricia Neal). Pauls mistress puts him up in a New York apartment building, which also houses "glamour girl" Holly Golightly (Hepburn) and Mr. Yunioshi (Mickey Rooney in a tiresomely gratuitous racial slur of a role). Paul and Holly, both with the same lack of employment and consequent late hours, inevitably become curious about each other, and Paul gets his first detailed look at Hollys "glamourous" lifestyle at a ghastly party she throws for O.J. Berman (Martin Balsam), a Hollywood exec who knows Holly for what she is: a bad investment. Watching Holly party with her "rats and super-rats" is amusing, I suppose, if youre not trying to sleep down the hall and you dont have to pay for all that liquor. Berman gives Paul the low-down on his failed attempt to get Holly into show business, so Paul is more than adequately warned from the outset. Two eligible bachelors trail their coats in front of Holly, so Paul gets to see her on the make.
Despite the better judgement we are given every reason to believe Paul possesses, he begins to fall in love with Holly. We are expected to regard Hollys foibles as endearing: her inability to keep keys or save money, her lack of facility with names (she calls Paul "Fred" after her beloved brother (proof of whose existence we are never given), she fails to name the hapless cat who lives with her), her total insensitivity to others. The only regular commitment Holly keeps is a weekly visit to Sing Sing, where she guilelessly acts as courier between a convicted drug smuggler (Alan Reed) and his attorney (Claude Stroud).
As Paul struggles to keep his mistress from discovering his involvement with Holly, he notices a man shadowing the apartment building. A confrontation with the stalker reveals him to be Jed Clampett, Hollys deserted husband back to bring "Lulu May" home to Oklahoma. Holly cruelly lets her husband think shell go with him until they get to the bus depot, where she tries to use Paul as a shield while she stabs her husband in the heart. Jed defends himself with the only weapon he has: Hollys brother Fred. Fred is about to be discharged from the Army, and if "Lulu May" wont come home with him, Jed will tell Fred to re-enlist. As much as Holly affects love for her brother, shes not about to let Jed get the better of her in cruelty. She plops Jed on the bus and tells him she loves him, not even letting Jed hate her as she kicks him out of her life.
Having seen Hollys philosophy of relationships displayed in its most brutal form, what does Paul do? He confronts his anonymous mistress with his relationship with Holly. "2-E" is surprisingly restrained in her mockery of Pauls protestations of love for Holly. Being a good sport, shes willing to finance a trip for Paul and Holly, but quicker than she can say "Klaatu barada nikto," Paul refuses his $1,000 "severance pay" and sets out on his own. That Paul can stand up for himself here and go on to take incredible abuse from Holly constitutes Pauls dramatic failure; our only interest in the rest of the film can be to see how much of himself Paul can salvage as he extracts himself from Hollys orbit.
Oblivious to Pauls downward spiral, Holly lays out her plan to leave her one-night-stand days behind and settle down with the "ninth-richest man in the country," Rusty Trawler (Stanley Adams). A stroll through downtown brings them to Hollys "safest place in the world," Tiffanys (I imagine that if Breakfast at Tiffanys had been made twenty years later, Holly would consider Donald Trump "simply the most charming gentleman"). Paul imagines he is being led into Hollys sanctum sanctorum, and that he is consequently winning her heart. Although he can only afford to have a Cracker Jack ring engraved, he believes that the earnestness of his love will tell in the end. Henry Mancinis Moon River haunts this stroll, and we can only watch in horror as Paul indulges in self-deception after syrupy self-deception. I kept hoping for Face, Murdock, and B.A. to roll up and shout, "Cmon Hannibal, lets go--shes nothin but trouble!" Alas, it was not to be.
Hollys Sing Sing assignations end after the crack 1961-era Narcotics cops get wise to her "code." Holly never sees the inside of a jail, presumably because the cops are as easily disarmed by Holly as Paul is. Hollys gold-digging ambitions have to shift to a Brazillian rancher (Vilallonga) when her first victim marries someone else. At this point, Paul gets a glimmer of a clue and asks Holly if she thinks hes any different from the rest of her "rats and super-rats." When shes unable to reassure him, he hands over the $50 check he got for his most recent publication, "$50 for the powder room." I was hoping for the credits then, but no. Paul leaves Holly to her Latin lover, but of course doesnt have the moxie to move out of her building. When Holly gets a telegram informing her of the death of her brother in a jeep accident, she makes a scene of destroying her apartment. Her paramour is totally unable to deal with the situation, and of course Paul has nothing better to do than intervene and comfort the ingrateful Holly. Dont worry though; shell be bright and chipper the next morning. Fred who?
In the films final scene, Paul rides in the cab with Holly as she is heading to the airport to join her putative fiancé, trying to get her to realize just what a wonderful guy he is and just how shallow her life has been. Hollys been running from commitment and trust all her life, and Paul expects her to change after a five-minute soliloquy as shes getting ready to leave the country (raise your hand if you think Holly can speak Portuguese). Maybe his skills as a writer will help. After tossing her unnamed cat out the window, Holly has the driver stop so she can kick Paul out. Paul, finally indulging in the bitterness that could make him a great writer, curses Holly and throws in her face what has been apparent to everyone else all along: that she is doomed to be what she is, that shell never be able to trust anyone, and that all her fantasies of Tiffanys and Brazil will never change that. Again, we have a (slim) opportunity for a respectable ending, but we are treated to an absurd shot of Holly shedding tears in the cab (she has a heart after all!), followed by her hurried return to Paul and the cat, all to the tortured strains of Moon River. And now we realize that it is not just Paul who has engaged in self-deception, but also director Blake Edwards and screenwriter George Axelrod (and, they hope, the audience). We are expected to believe that Paul and Holly will now live happily ever after. Only if Paul takes the plane to Brazil instead.
Paul would have been better off with his mistress, Patricia Neal. At least she paid the rent on time and didnt lock herself out of her apartment.
Copyright © 1996 by Eric Scharf.  All rights reserved.
Date: Wed, 25 Dec 1996 21:30:19 -0400
To: Eric Scharf
Subject: Breakfast At Tiffanys
I am astounded and disgusted by your opinion of "Breakfast At Tiffanys", my all-time favorite movie. It was hardly a pathetic weeper about two prostitutes trying to make it in the big city. It was a comedy about a woman with an ironic life. There is so much depth to this film, that you obviously are choosing to ignore.
Youre probably one of those people who also thinks Marilyn Monroe was a stupid blonde, am I right?
KristynDate: Wed, 15 Jan 1997 15:49:06 -0800 (PST)
From: Eric Scharf
Subject: Re: Breakfast At Tiffanys
My all-time favorite movie is "Lawrence of Arabia". If I came across a Web page containing a scathingly negative review of "Lawrence", I suppose I would probably have an emotionally distorted view of its author. However, were I so moved as to email the author with an abrupt retort, I would hardly expect him to change his opinion. Indeed, I would have only myself to blame if the author replied to me personally with more "astounding" and "disgusting" attacks on my favorite movie.
Holly Golightly would be an ironic figure if she realized how her lifestyle is self-destructive and destructive of others; she doesnt. She would be a tragic figure if she tried to change and failed; but she doesnt even try. Paul could probably be considered a tragic figure, but since the screenwriters were dishonest with themselves, we are denied a properly tragic ending.
As to comedy, the only comic moments are to be found in the dialogue of the secondary characters, like Berman and "2-E", who are fortunate enough not to have to linger.
I have no cinematic opinion of Marilyn Monroe, as I have never seen one of her films, but I would like to think she conducts herself with more self-awareness and self-respect than does Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffanys".
Date: Sat, 12 Apr 1997 13:53:58 -0400
Whomever you are,
After reading your review of Breakfast at Tiffanys... I just had to express my thanks. I laughed out loud many times while reading your thoughts. Good job.
Personally, I like the movie. Yeah, its corny... and the chick isnt deserving of Hannible... but still. I think I like it cause I saw it with a really good looking girl.. and she liked it. Some association thing there...
Anyhow, if youve never read the novel... go for it. Its only 111 (short) pages. If you think Holly steps on him in the movie... read what this slut does in the book. ITs darker...
So thanks again. Youve got a great sense of humor.
Date: Mon, 19 May 97 22:50:35 -0700
I saw the film for the first time last night. They just showed the movie on uk tv last night and I couldnt remember it was Seagal who played the male lead, so I decided to look it up on the net and find out, and I found your review. Its great, although mygirlfriend wouldnt agree. I lived with someone like Holly in a houseshare a while back and I coulnt think why she reminded me of her. You have made it so much clearer.
Note: I just saw Jules et Jim, which came out in the same year as Breakfast at Tiffanys. Jules et Jim is what Breakfast at Tiffanys should have been. --ES, Fri.22.Oct.1999
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2000 20:23:26 -0500
Your writing style is amazing. Whatever that first chick on the reply list was babbling about was shallow nonsense. I was searching for BAT reviews for days and I finally stumbled upon yours. I dont necessarily agree with your arguments 100% percent but at least (thank God cause no one does this anymore).....you..... *gasp* backed them up! Thanx again.
¤ Genni ¤
Date: Mon, 05 Feb 2001 01:59:12 -0800 (PST)
Date: Wed, 07 Feb 2001 22:10:57 -0800 (PST)
So personal trauma justifies using others? And what, exactly, has Holly "been through"?
What conflict? Her "charm and elegance" blind others to the fact that she cant love anybody else, and she never has to pay her own rent. Good work if you can get it.
Youre right that Holly is needy, but that has nothing to do with why Paul falls for her. He falls for her because he is subject to precisely that sensibility that I have been accused of lacking by those who object to my review: the ability to see through Hollys deception and neediness and love her "true self." The problem, of course, is that the audience is given no evidence that Holly is aware of how she sabotages all attempts to save her, or that she regrets that she destroys everyone who loves her. For viewers who share Pauls faith that anyone who looks and dresses like Audrey Hepburn must be good at heart, the film then becomes a testament to Pauls tenacity in holding onto his faith in the face of adversity. For those of us who have to judge Holly on how she actually behaves, however, the progress of the film shows Pauls descent into fatal delusion.
"Forced"? Pauls old enough to make his own decisions and live with the consequences. Making a living as a writer, in 1961 or at any other time, is not for the timid or easily deluded.
When, exactly, does Holly disavow her materialism (or even admit that she should)?
While it can be argued that romance permits and perhaps even requires elements of fantasy, grownups also require realism to make their romance believable. From its satire in the outset, Breakfast at Tiffanys even promises a realistic look at Manhattan, making its departure from reality at the end duplicitous.
At best, Breakfast at Tiffanys is a childrens film. In her precious neediness, Holly wishes to remain a child forever. Paul tries to get her to grow up, but rather than seeing the futility of this and instead becoming a sugar daddy like Berman (Pauls Wendy to Hollys Peter Pan), he struggles to become as much as child as she is. He fails, but Holly, in a completely unjustifiable break in character, suddenly "grows up" at the end, without any indication that she appreciates what life with Paul, on his terms, will be like. The impossibility of reconciling Pauls sensibility with Hollys renders the film an artistic failure.
I saw Dancer in the Dark last autumn, and while I cant say that I didnt like it, I certainly dont think more highly of Lars von Trier for having made it. However, when compared to treacle like Breakfast at Tiffanys, von Triers loogie feels as fresh as a spring rain.
Date: Mon, 06 May 2002 23:05:26 -0400 (EDT)
I dont know what the hell happened. My memories of Breakfast at Tiffanys differ greatly with the movie I (re)watched tonight. I didnt think I had read the book, but now Im wondering if Id read the book and never seen the movie.
I cant believe the reviews Ive read calling this movie a romantic comedy. It wasnt funny! It was miserable! If theyd stuck with the books frame, where Paul, who hasnt heard from Holly in 15 years, hears something about her... if theyd had her dump him, if he saw the cat peeking out of some window years later-- well, the last few minutes of that movie really kind of ruin the rest of it.
I suppose I like the movie, up until that point. Holly and Paul are both so fucked up, so unsure of who they are and what theyre doing. Or maybe its the memory of the book, which is really twenty times better. And Im sure having the hots for George Peppard has something to do with it :)
Btw, Lawrence is my favorite movie, and I gained a bunch of weight living in France too.
Date: Fri, 10 May 2002 10:53:35 -0700 (PDT)
Unfortunately, I entirely disagree with your review of Breakfast at Tiffanys. It is one of my favorite movies, and a classic. I dont normally e-mail people who I disagree with on the web, but in this case Ill make an exception, only because I love this film so much. In the first place, your criticisms are nothing more than emotional responses intertwined with a short plot synopsis. Words like "weeper, kept-boy, ghastly, etc.," and the overall tone of your review do nothing to help prove your points, of which you realistically have none, until we read your responses to other e-mailers. This does not help in rationalizing your disgust for this movie. So I will address some of your points made in those responses, particularly those made to Kim. First off, Holly is screwed up. We dont know why, and arent asked to know why. She is trying to make the best of her situation by attempting to marry rich, single men, which in itself is screwed up and self-defeating. In this way, Holly is a classically tragic character. She cant help what she does. Paul also is, in a way, tragic. He is a male prostitute, and a failed writer. The audience cant and doesnt believe that he is somehow "sensible." Perhaps more than Holly, but his love for her blinds him of his rationality. Which is what love often does. In reality. Ive seen it many times. You ask this movie to more "realistic" than it is. Movies arent always supposed to be realistic, if not for the reason that they are movies and not real life. We dont need to prove the existence of Hollys brother, Fred. We dont need to worry about people waking up because of Hollys wild parties, and we dont worry if Rooneys role is politically incorrect (its funny, by the way). Doing these things would turn the audience away from the main theme of tragic love, which is what this movie is all about. I only wish the ending had been more tragic. And this is where I may agree with you. Unfortunately, Hollywood, being what it is, does not do tragedy very well, at least in popular films. But here comes the romantic part: Love Conquers All. I believe with you that all the problems Holly and Paul face during the movie do not justify such a quick submission to love by Holly. I do wish the directors et al. had not done that. But the ending is excusable, because it is romantic, and the movie is a romance, and love does quite often, conquer all. Ive seen it. In reality. And if it doesnt, virtually everybody on this world wants to believe that it does, and the movie addresses this yearning. From your criticisms, I believe you arent much of a romantic, which is a bit strange because you are quite emotional in your critique even to the point of bringing George Peppards role of Hannibal in the A-team in referencing his role in this film. And Romantics are usually a bit emotional. Makes me wonder what you really have against this film. I dont know, but I hope your other reviews of movies arent as closed-minded as this one was. If so, I seriously suggest that you dont quit your day job. I hope my e-mail has somehow helped to liberate even a small part of whats left of your heart and mind, and made you see truly what a great movie this is, and what it says about love.
Date: Tue, 02 July 2002 12:20:25 -0700 (PDT)
Pardon me for having emotional responses to works presented as art. In the first two sentences quoted above, I detect some emotion in your response, as well.
Why arent we asked to know why? I sure as hell want to know, because if theres no reason for her behavior, then shes an amoral parasite, at best. Of course theres a reason, but the screenwriters cant do more than hint at it, lest we (rightly) demand that Holly try to overcome it. But she doesnt.
Is it? Sounds like a good plan to me. Its not her ambition that defeats Holly, but her refusal to trust herself (and, therefore, anyone else).
Again, Holly would be a tragic character if she tried to change, but she does not.
Of course. Paul doesnt need a "reason" to fall in love with Holly, but given Hollys manifest unlovability, we need a reason. We need to know why someone as familiar with the harsh realities of the big city as Paul doesnt simply use Holly as he has been used by "2-E". Simply looking like Audrey Hepburn doesnt cut it.
I dont object to fantasy per se, but the film starts out realistic and ends up fantastic. This is called a "tone shift," and is generally frowned upon in coherent narratives.
Funny to racists in 1961, perhaps. These days, its just banal, about as far from funny as you can get.
So the screenwriters wanted to have an authentically tragic ending, but the evil studio bosses forced the saccharine ending on them instead? Hardly the stuff of a "classic." Of course, this is false; Hollywood can do tragedy in "popular" films, and had done so long before Axelrod got hold of Capotes novel and turned it into hummingbird feed.
Had the film started out "romantic," the ending would have been excusable. Predictable, but excusable.
Definitions of "Romantic" vary somewhat, but I think its a serious error to equate "romantic" with "emotional." The "A-Team" reference wasnt emotional so much as sarcastic.
All I have against this film is that it is deeply artistically flawed yet it is lauded as a "classic." E-mail comments from others also incline me to believe that the screenwriters butchered Capotes novel, which shouldnt endear them to anyone fond of literature.
Your vocational advice is duly noted.
[Checking.] Nope; still two sizes too small.
Date: Sat, 21 Sep 2002 18:50:08 -0700 (PDT)
I appreciate your review of BAT. It most certainly is a flawed film. But I still enjoy watching it. Maybe because Im a flawed person. But aren't we all?
Ive fallen for fallen angels like Holly myself. Ive been beside myself sometimes, loving a woman who doesnt love me, spending money on her I can scant afford to spend, getting hooked on her when every rational fibre of my being shouts "Run away!"
I agree that the ending is unrealistic. I agree that Mickey Rooneys part would not be made that way today. But still, theres something compelling to me about the movie. Maybe its just because I can identify with Paul, falling in love with a girl he ought to know better than to have let crawl in his window the first time he came to know she had been peeping on him and his paramour.
The part of Holly Golightly is probably the most uncharacteristic role Ive seen Audrey Hepburn in. I understand she didnt think she was very well suited for the role, despite it's success. So she might well have agreed with your assessment of the film.
Nevertheless it continues to attract new audiences in every generation, and, as you point out, it does provide viewers with an idea of how good an actor George Peppard could be.
I think its important for your critics to note that slamming the film isnt at all a slam on the professionality or capability of the actors and actresses involved. Its more a critique of the screenwriter(s?) and director. Id like to see a better adaptation of Capotes novel, but I probably wont live that long.
Thanks for the effort you put into your review and for giving readers the opportunity to respond.
Date: Mon, 23 September 2002 12:16:10 -0700 (PDT)
Lest the false impression flourish that I would insist upon rational motivation in all artistic depictions of love, I refer you (and others) to Hal Hartleys Surviving Desire. A short feature, Hartley takes as his subject an ill-starred attraction between a college professor and a younger woman, but I dont find the intergenerational aspect to describe the sum total of what Hartley has to say. What happens to the professor is an unmitigated catastrophe, but neither Hartley nor I would suggest that the proper response is never to love again, and thats about as "romantic" as one can get.
Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2003 15:07:56 +0000
Firstly, in your defence, i must say that the review you give of Breakfast at Tiffanys is indeed thought provoking, utterly unconvincing, but at least it caught my attention, so i congratulate you there.
To address your point that the narrative structure of the film somehow fails because of its shift from the realistic to the romantic, I can only say that your idea of what is real is obviously somewhat distorted. What can be more romantic than the lone figure of a strikingly beautiful woman, still in full evening dress, (with perfect hair and make up despite being out all night) at an unusually early hour of the morning, eating her breakfast whilst gazing longingly in the window of a very expensive jewellers? In which way exactly does this set the film out to be realistic rather than romantic? Ive never been to new york, does it happen often there then?? If this is your idea of the realistic, then i can safely say that the Axelrod isnt the only romantic in the world.
So Holly pleases herself, hurts others, then changes her mind at the end? did you happen to forget she is a woman? manipulation and indecision are the things that characterise our gender, and i for one am proud of that. So paul falls for Holly because she is beautiful? did you forget that hes a man!! i know in an ideal world these things shouldnt matter, but ultimately they do. beauty is a powerful thing, and teamed with a great need to be rescued emotionally, its not hard to see why paul falls for Holly. its the damsel in distress thing. Men love all that heroic crap.
i hope this clarifies a few points for you. im sure youll rebuke this thoroughly, but all i can say is that your forgetting the true nature of hollywood, and until you can offer a film with an entirely realistic portrait of love i suggest you just appreciate B.A.T for what it is. A silly, soppy romantic story.
Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2003 22:08:34 -0700 (PDT)
I havent heard such a convincing argument for heterosexuality since Fight Club.
Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2003 17:52:22 -0600
Thanks for starting an insightful debate and mediating responses.
I think everyone is missing the point of the screenwriters choice. This is
a movie that obfuscates the roles of romantic love. These are hardened
characters, basically incapable of love. The Holly character keeps a cat, a
conspicuous analogy for herself and Paul. She is a pet of rich men,
feasting on their fancy, and remaining indifferent to their affections.
Anyone who has owned a feline can relate to this analogy. Paul is owned and
tamed by his master. The two struggle with these labels, ultimately ending
with the expulsion of the cat. The screen writer chooses to make the
argument tangential by subverting the books obvious ending. Those of us
literate enough to assume the frame (balance of the story) is completed by
the expulsion of Paul, accept the screenwriters choice to portray Pauls
fantasy, his motivation.
Maybe I have oversimplified and missed the point of the original post, but as a romantic male, I know a story that will melt hearts when I see one.
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2004 19:20:46 -0800
It always amazes me how so many people can view one thing so differently.
I am an illustrator (I actually stumbled upon your site while collecting reference material for an assignment about Breakfast at Tiffanys.) In art school, I enjoyed and suffered through many critiques of art, music, and stories. It didnt take long for me to learn that a persons response to anything often said more about themselves than it did about the subject of their criticism. I enjoyed your page about Breakfast at Tiffanys for that reason.
I have seen the movie two and half times. I hated it the first time. I felt no sympathy for Paul or Holly and, of course, Mickey Rooneys role is resprehensible. I glimpsed the movie a second time though and was more open to it. I liked it enough to go see it at an artsy fartsy theatre a few months later. It was surprisingly good. Before you prime yourself for another point-by-point though, you should know that criteria for movie appreciation. The thing I really look for in a film (or a song or a book if I can tolerate the writing) is an element of truth. Breakfast at Tiffanys captures a lot of truth. You and your readers made some good points about Paul and Holly being flawed. I have met girls like Holly and fallen for them the way Paul does. Feeling that I could take care of someone so beautiful and needy made me feel strong and resourceful. Thankfully, I got over that sort of thing quickly enough. Ive met so many other Pauls and Hollys though that Ive begun to think that most people go through a stage like that: a stage where one is so low in self-esteem that he looks for self worth in other people. Paul and Holly are both doing this. Holly is so confused that the only self-worth she can conjure is what she hopes other people see in her: glamour, adventure, freedom from societal pressures. I was actually refreshed when Paul wrote about her as a frightened girl. To me, that showed that he could see through her bullshit. Unfortunatelyyoure righthe couldnt see through his own. He seemed genuinely convinced that he could rescue her from herself and, by doing so, he could rescue himself as well. Becausedespite your opinion that he should have stayed with his sugar mamaPaul was not happy at the beginning of the movie. He was a failed writer and an emasculated man. Like it or not, the characters are very realistic. Even to the point of a good thing coming from a bad relationship: Thanks to his feelings for Holly, Paul does come into his own.
I even think the ending was realistic. Noyoure rightI dont believe its possible that those characters could live happily ever after but, yes, I do believe that a confused girl who was just released from jail and an engagement could be convinced to staytemporarily at leastwith the man who has done so much to win her heart. Especially because she doesnt change her mind until he gives up on her. That is very realistic. I know at least two girls who treated a boy like garbage until he decided that she wasnt worth his time. Both those girls responded immediately to his disinterest and both those girls ended up dating their respective boy. Briefly.
See, I dont think that Breakfast at Tiffanys ended happily. I interpretted the ending as bittersweet. Yes, Holly and Paul are together in the final sequence. Good for them but, geez, I hope Im not the only who knew that it wouldnt last. Maybe that explains why I at least consider the movie a success.
Hopefully though, George Lucas will swing by and erase Mickey Rooney from the Breakfast at Tiffanys Special Edition.
Thanks for your essay and for making room for discussion.
P.S. About tone shifts, you probably know of several stories that were celebrated specifically for their tone shifts. Romeo & Juliet is the first that comes to mind. Breakfast at Tiffanys juggled silliness and sadness throughout the film though. In that way, the whole movie resembled a drunken party where people laugh and cry throughout the night and noone knows who will go home with whom.
Date: Sat, 22 May 2004 12:28:42 -0700
I read your review of the movie Breakfast at Tiffanys and it inspired me to base my paper on your opinion (with proper citations, of course).This weekend I am doing a research paper for my World Literature class on Truman Capote, his novel Breakfast at Tiffanys and the movie based on the novel.
I found the topic of the flaws in the movie (which i read about in your review) particularly interesting.
To summarize what you said in your review, the flaws are as follows (please correct me if i am wrong with the points):
What do you think? Would my paper work if i support your 3 points listed above (which i grew to embrace) with evidence from other sources as well as the original text of the novel? Or should i include something else?
Thank you, Eric, for your help.
I hope to hear from you soon.
Date: Sun, 23 May 2004 09:31:47 -0700
I should first caution you that I have never read Capotes novel "Breakfast at Tiffanys." I am therefore woefully unequipped to critique the film as an adaptation of the novel. My criticisms are based solely on judging the film on its own merits, and in response to its near-universal acclaim.
Rooneys "character" (caricature) continues to stand out as grotesque, and while one is tempted to blame the time period in which the film was made, Im not feeling that charitable. Nevertheless, when one is totting up criticisms of the film, including Mr. Yunioshi isnt quite the artistic flaw that expecting us to overlook Hollys irremediable self-destructiveness is.
Clearly, much of the films "classic" status is due to it being an Audrey Hepburn vehicle, which is fine as far as it goes. I have been told that the film, as an adaptation, is much more "saccharine" and Hollywood than the novel (which I again caution you I have not read). Ultimately, both Paul and Holly are trapped in childish fantasies, and the films failure either to adequately justify these fantasies or to let the characters grow out of them prevents the film from appealing to adults.
For an illuminating contrast to the film of Breakfast at Tiffanys, I cannot recommend enough François Truffauts Jules et Jim (based on Henri-Pierre Rochés novel of the same name, which I also have not read).