Showgirls Lorelei Lee and Dorothy Shaw travel to Paris, pursued by a private detective hired by the suspicious father of Lorelei's fiancé, as well as a rich, enamored old man and many other doting admirers.
Holly Golightly is a flighty Manhattan party girl, who expects "money for the powder room as well as for cab fare" for her companionship. She has even gotten a lucrative once weekly job to visit notorious convict Sally Tomato in Sing Sing, she needing to report back to Sally's lawyer the weather report that Sally tells her as proof of her visits with him in return for payment. Her aspirations for glamor and wealth are epitomized by the comfort she feels at Tiffany's, the famous high end jewelry retailer where she believes nothing can ever go wrong. Her resolve for this wealth is strengthened, if not changed slightly in focus, upon news from home. Into Holly's walk-up apartment building and thus her life is Paul Varjak, a writer who Holly states reminds her of her brother Fred, who she has not seen in years and who is currently enlisted in the army. The two quickly become friends in their want for something outside of their current lot. Paul's situation is closer to Holly's than he ... Written by
Well, the answer in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" is that Hepburn's Holly Golightly is a "real phony," which somehow is supposed to make her pipe dreams and complete denial of reality endearing.
A "real phony"? I found nothing charming about Golightly's ditziness, drinking or other balms for her pain. Here is a woman so unhappy with herself that she hires herself out nightly and chases rich men in a desperate pursuit of happiness. The superficiality of her life has indeed "caged" her. What is so real (or meaningful) about that?
Breakfast at Tiffany's has been billed in some quarters as a "romantic comedy." Me - I laughed exactly twice - both in response to supporting characters. I found the movie disturbing, despite (or maybe because of) obvious comedic tricks and a veneer of lightness. Laughter comes when you're relaxed. Golightly and her out-of-control life made me nervous from the get-go.
A final thought: Is the ultimate romantic fantasy to be involved with someone who loves herself and others so little she even refuses to name her pet cat? Am I to believe that old habits really die so conveniently in the face of romantic love?
I really, truly wanted to like this movie even half as much as its fans do. Alas, for me, "Breakfast at Tiffany's" turned out to be a phony. And a real one at that.
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