Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) Review: The Anti-Material Girl

Should I have changed my title for this review to a story about a Classy but Penniless Gold Digger who Can’t Survive on her Own? That would mislead the readers on what I think about the beloved character Holly played by Audrey Hepburn. To call her a gold digger is far from the truth. However, at a glance it’s hard not to judge since that was the first impression I got from looking at the cover despite what critics say and what my older peers thought. In fact an older woman recommended this film to me. Now I see why.

Before I provide you my personal input about this classic film, let’s talk about the plot. It’s not all bad as it sounds if you are a carefree-loving wild cat and are on the liberal side of life. This film is about an unmarried woman who appears to be happy. She’s wild, fun, and entertaining. But underneath it all–she needs help more than anything. For example, she doesn’t know how to budget money; she makes her living through entertaining sugar daddies; She throws lavish parties; and doing things out of the norm. Sometimes I wonder how a classy gal can afford such things. Then again, her acquaintances have big money. Also being beautiful has its perks. She draws men to her like moths to a bright lamp at night. Even her neighbor, a writer struggling to make it big–named Paul Varjak, comes to her aid when she needs him. What a lucky girl just for being beautiful. In the end, she settled with Paul out of love when she could have picked one of her millionaire acquaintances, which makes this film a heart warming story. All it took for Holly to say yes to Paul is the prized ring found in the Cracker Jack box. The particular scene where the Tiffany’s sales clerk agrees to engrave the initial on the Cracker Jack’s ring for 10 dollars implies that love doesn’t have a set price. And most importantly, what is the probability of finding love? It’s worth more than all the diamonds you can buy. It’s a bold statement to women that you don’t always need diamonds to feel loved.

In conclusion, films like Breakfast at Tiffany’s point out the cold hard truth to material women. What it got right about love is that “love is plenty enough,” I quote from the film. Now that’s gold because to love is a rare emotion that some of us might never experience in our lifetime. So why trade the emotion for material security to fill the empty void in our hearts? What women really need is emotional security. The film says no to material things, but yes to immaterial things. How ironic is that, considering Tiffany’s is a jewelry store? The writer Paul Varjak is the jewelry store. He makes her feel like a diamond. Great metaphor! Overall, I love this film!

***

Enjoyed this review? Want more of Audrey Hepburn? Please check out my other review:

The Children’s Hour Review: When Lesbian Is Not Sexualized

The Children’s Hour Review: When Lesbian Is Not Sexualized

It seems like Amazon Prime Video knows exactly what sort of films I like–thought provoking ones and anything with Audrey Hepburn is a must see! She is the best and most beautiful actress that have ever walked the planet (subjectively speaking).

When it comes to entertainment, I like to gamble with my time. It’s part of my primitive hunting nature (I am the huntress not the hunted). Just dive into something blindly and I come out happy, sad or neutral. Most of the time, it’s neutral (I am kind of hard to please). This film sure took me by surprise: I don’t know anything about it beforehand, other than the fact, Audrey Hepburn is so beautiful and strong. I think I mentioned that earlier. Sounds like I have a crush, don’t I? Well this is what the film is all about! A schoolteacher, starring Shirley Maclaine as Martha Dobie, realizes that her affection towards her colleague Karen Wright (Hepburn) runs really deep. She is “insanely devoted” to the school and to Ms. Wright to the point her “unnatural” behavior causes a child to spread a lie, which resulted in the destruction of the schoolteachers’ business and ultimately their lives. However, there is more to this film that meets the eye. It gives the victim of homophobia a powerful voice. The schoolteacher’s job is to bring up good citizens. Sexual orientation has nothing to do with someone’s morality. After all, “Wicked young” [eventually turns into] “wicked old, ” said Ms. Wright.

What I enjoyed about this film is the way how it was shot. It’s a beautiful black and white film directed by William Wyler, based on Lillian Hellman’s play: The Children’s Hour. Watch it if you want to know how strong and influential women can be in the society. It’s a shame that nowadays, there aren’t many classy strong female actresses in the entertainment business. I can’t really think of any because most are just eye candy.