Movie Review: Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
Aspiring writer and kept man Paul moves into a new apartment building where he meets quirky Holly Golightly. Holly pays her bills by going on dates with wealthy men and sneaking off with the $50 they give her for the power room. The two start to entwine into each other’s lives, and Paul discovers there’s more to Holly than meets the eye.
As I was watching, I thought this was a meh movie, but then in the last five minutes I suddenly came to love it. That’s what classic movies can do that modern movies often don’t. They set up a world that just seems average, but then blow your mind in the end with what you’ve actually seen and learned about the characters. You’re being touched while watching the movie without even realizing it.
The film moves at a meandering pace that allows you to truly get a glimpse of NYC in the 1960s. The outfits, the decor, the drinks, the smoking….. It truly is a period piece. There was one large sour note in the film that is reflective of when it came out though in the form of Holly’s upstairs neighbor, who is the definition of a racist caricature of Asians, and he wasn’t even played by an Asian or Asian-American actor. I wish he wasn’t in the movie, but it is reflective of the times.
Holly Golightly is such a well-written character. You alternate between identifying with her, loathing her, and feeling sorry for her, and that is what makes her seem like such a real person. By the ending, I really wasn’t sure if I hated or cared for her, but either way, I understood her. That’s a wonderful thing to come to understand someone who has the issues Holly does.
If you enjoy classic films or films built around careful character building, give Breakfast at Tiffany’s a shot. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.
4 out of 5 stars