“There once was a very lonely, very frightened girl. She lived alone except for a nameless cat…”
Holly Golightly is not only one of my favorite characters ever written, but quite possibly one of the most fascinating characters in cinema. Her initial introduction interlaces an element of both casual and formal, as she chomps away at a cheese Danish outside of Tiffany’s in her famous black dress – a clever method of introducing a girl that appears one way, but acts another. Furthermore, one of the best character introductions was written for Ms. Golightly, as we witness her frantically looking for her shoes and locates one of them in a potted plant. This gal was one of the original hot messes in film – I have always loved the approach Blake Edwards took to express this.
I recently revisited this classic for the first time in years and realized there were a lot of unspoken truths woven in between the lines. Although I have yet to read the book, I know for a fact that Blake Edwards’ Holly is watered down in comparison to Capote’s protagonist in his iconic novella. Nevertheless, we come to discover that the once-country-girl-turned-New-York-socialite is a rather complex and unhappy young woman. The main objective she carries into each of her courtships with older, wealthy gentlemen is to marry one of them and live comfortably, an objective that can only pamper a gal materialistically, but never spiritually.
Holly’s vulnerability becomes more and more apparent as she gradually lowers her guard, particularly with Paul. Surpassing her layers, he sees her for what she really is: “a very lonely, very frightened girl.” He further reveals that her lifestyle and superficial ways will never bring her happiness, while she in turn gives him a taste of living carefree, a zest for life. Observing the lessons they teach to one another is both warm and heartbreaking at the same time.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s is one of the first unorthodox romcom’s of its time. It touches base with the subject of loss, rejection, loneliness, and fear – something most hokey love stories seem to either simplify or overlook all together. This movie takes a seemingly materialistic, shallow young girl and exposes her complexities and sadness, and does so unapologetically. Rather bold, particularly for its time.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s screens Thursday, August 26 at Regency Buenaventura, 7:30pm. Info at http://www.insomniaccinema.com/index.html