Home > Movie, Review > Movie Review: Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

Movie Review: Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

Summary:
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.

Review:
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

Source: Netflix

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  1. January 7, 2010 at 10:42 am

    I was completely obsessed with this movie when I was 14, and I still love it to bits– Mikey Rooney’s hideous Mr. Yunioshi aside. To this day, I still baffle people by swearing “cross my heart and kiss my elbow” if I want to be taken seriously, sometimes adding that I never use Audrey Hepburnisms in vain.

    Patricia Neal has become, over time, my favorite character in the movie. She’s just so cutting and composed.

    • January 7, 2010 at 11:14 am

      Oh my gosh, there are so many great quotes in the movie! I completely understand why you’d say “cross my heart and kiss my elbow.” ;-)

      My favorite character is definitely Holly Golightly just because she’s so damn crazy and afraid.

  2. January 7, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Cat gives her a run for her money though, as does the man behind the Tiffany’s counter who agrees to engrave their Cracker Jack ring.

  3. January 7, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Awh classic film, I really want to re-watch this after reading your review, I’ve forgotten all those little subtle points. I know what you mean I came away not really liking Holly but then again she is just so interesting to watch!

    • January 7, 2010 at 11:15 am

      I think that’s what makes it a cool movie. Lots of times movies try to get us to like a character, whereas this just tries to get us to understand Holly.

  4. Chrissie
    January 7, 2010 at 11:15 am

    The kitty stole the show!

    Great review; I agree with all you’ve said.
    Thanks for watching with me! :)

    • January 7, 2010 at 11:17 am

      Ah yes, how could I not mention the kitty?! I loved all the shots they subtly worked in of the kitty, and then he (she?) becomes so important in the end!

      Thanks for watching it with me too, lady. :-D

  5. January 10, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    You might also read the novella by Truman Capote, on which the movie is based. As I recall it’s less than 100 pages long, and gives you more insight into the characters. Would be interesting to hear what you think.

    • January 11, 2010 at 11:15 am

      One of my other friends mentioned to me that there’s a book, but I didn’t know it’s a novella. I definitely want to read it as I’ve heard it has a decidedly not happy ending, plus I love comparing books to movies. Thanks for letting me know. Be on the lookout for a comparison when I manage to get my hands on it.

  1. May 19, 2010 at 1:02 am

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