Breakfast at Tiffany’s

by Kimberly Ang

8am alarm, it’s 2.30am and I cannot fall asleep. It feels quite terrible, especially when I can feel the tiredness in me. But I cannot seem to will myself fall asleep.

I’ve recently began having this immense allure to Audrey Hepburn. I guess it all started out with a themed dinner, when I decided I could never emulate Grace Kelly because her style was simple, beautiful but less iconic than the great Ms Hepburn. And it helped that I already had a little black dress and pearls. So the last part of my research, after many time to visiting Wikipedia, Tumblr and especially Pintrest, ws to watch the said iconic film.

I’ve never been a fan of vintage movies. I mean i have watched a fair share of movies that probably came out in the late 80s and 90s; one of my absolute favourite films is The Dead Poet’s Society. Perhaps the only black and white film I’ve ever watched (and finished) is To Kill a Mockingbird, and because I was once forced to watch the film for English Lit and because it’s a lassie book, I mean how could you call yourself proficient in the English language if you have not read the book? No, I really don’t think so. The other iconic film I’ve tried to watch would be Gone with the Wind, because I really wanted to see Scarlet O’Hara’s curtain dress. Sadly Scarlet was such a brat and the lack of a decent looking male in the film (Hollywood ruins expectations) made me give up 3 hours into the movie. I could not take her wailing anymore I wanted to smack her so hard.

Then I came to realise that wailing was just what girls back then did. I guess with feminism, females gave up the right to whine and have temper tantrums socially acceptable. Audrey Hepburn did her fair share of wailing in her movies.

So I dug out my iPad and snuggled in bed with Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Not that this is of much relevance, but I think lying in bed at the wee hours of the night with only the nightlight on and watching a movie is the best kind of home movie experience.

I fell in love with the movie the moment the yellow cab pulled up outside Tiffany’s and Audrey Hepburn stepped out in her gorgeous Givenchy. Her clipped, flippant speech of a Upper East Side socialite is really my favourite, of course it definitely isn’t necessarily the most impressive. Her cockney accent in My Fair Lady was woah and a stark contrast from Holly Golightly. But I’m not going to talk about My Fair Lady, now.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s is quintessentially, an old school romance film. It wouldn’t even be considered romantic comedy, and certainly not the romantic comedy you’ll find in theatres these days. In fact, all the good movies these days are either Disney or adapt from books. So no matter how loosely they were adapted, well, they essentially were by a writer, and not a filmmaker. Hollywood, you’re becoming half-arsed.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s talks about a socialite call girl (Holly Golightly) and her run in with her new neighbour, writer Paul Varjak with a side job (if you know what I mean). The chemistry is amazing between the both of them, I honestly do not fall in love with on-screen couples so easily without having to imagine too much. It is a whirlwind, you know there is love at first sight, kind of romances that has them running around NYC, carefree. And of course, there is a scene in Tiffany’s, but not what you would think, the jolliness and lightheartedness of Holly just makes you want to grab your other half and do something stupid in a Tiffany’s store too.

What shocked me as I was reading Wikipedia (yes I’m one of those), was that they originally wanted Marilyn Monroe for the role of Holly Golightly. Marilyn Monroe to play a socialite call girl? Sure, I mean, the call girl part perhaps but I don’t think she would have pulled off classy and witty like Audrey Hepburn. Plus, blonde is no way better in Givenchy’s LBD compared to brunette.

They say she wasn’t flightily enough, that there was insufficient sexual innuendo. But I think that is the charm of Audrey Hepburn, that she can pull you in to the movie and the whirlwind romance between Holly and Paul without even trying. She said it was one of her “jazziest roles” as she had to play an extrovert, I’d say she exuded chart that was so uniquely her, I couldn’t imagine Holly Golightly any other way.

And Holly has a cat. Who is aptly named (or rather, not named), Cat. Simply because:

”You know those days when you get the mean reds?”

“The mean reds, you mean like the blues?”

“No. The blues are because you’re getting fat and maybe it’s been raining too long; you’re just sad, that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling? …Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany’s. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it. Nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that’d make me feel like Tiffany’s, then — then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name!”

Well I’ve watched this film twice in a week and cried every single time so that has to count for something.