WATCHING: Breakfast at Tiffany’s

13 Oct

Watching: Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

Why you should watch it: Culture, Character

Breakfast At Tiffany's Cover(Photo Credit)

For my first Watching post, I thought I’d cover a classic.

Everyone should see this movie. Seriously, this 1961 film starring Audrey Hepburn as the iconic Holly Golightly and George Peppard as Paul Varjak, is a must see for women, men, people who love fashion (the black dress, the pearls, the tiara. You know.), just everyone.

Based loosely on Truman Capote’s novella of the same name, this movie is funny, classy and inventive. It chronicles the adventures of a group of rich or wanna-be rich bohemians. Most important is Hepburn’s eccentric, outgoing and essentially lost, Holly Golightly, who doesn’t seem to know exactly what she wants out of life, flitting from party to party. Then, Paul Varjak, writer and…escort, moves into her apartment building.

To learn what happens next, you’ll have to see the movie (available on Netflix streaming!!!) and believe me there’s something in it for everyone, and everyone should see it. More specifically, all writers should see this movie for a couple of reasons.

First, this movie really knows something about cultivating a culture. Inspired by the cafe society, Breakfast at Tiffany’s does a great job of establishing the culture surrounding the characters. When not partying the characters do what they like—sleep, shop, take long walks, go to bars. Then, they party. The suggestion that everyone knows everyone from some party, or through some other friend, or by reputation really suggests this network of the rich and pretty who just like to get together and party, damn everything else.

There’s a FANTASTIC sequence of a party in Holly’s apartment. The place is packed. Everyone is dressed both beautifully and extravagantly. Alcohol flows freely and everyone is gossiping about everyone else. As the party progresses things only get crazier—and more hilarious. People pass out, talk to themselves, sit on each other, but it doesn’t seem to matter, as long as everyone has a good time.

All writers could take a cue from this movie, and cultivate a culture around their characters and understand how their worlds shape their characters.

The second reason I say all writers should see this movie is the character development. In truth, it could be really easy to hate Holly Golightly. She’s flighty, indecisive, delusional and a bit of heartbreaker, when it comes right down to it. But she’s also clever, honest, witty and spontaneous. While I refuse to give away any more of the plot than I already have, as with any good writing, Holly is also shown to be devastatingly human and capable of experiencing the roller coaster of emotions other humans go through. I can’t promise you’ll fall in love with Holly, even though TONS of people have so, you know, they can’t all be wrong. But even if you don’t love her, the great characterization promises you’ll at least understand her.

WATCH THIS MOVIE. There’s a reason that fifty years later, people still love this movie, that Holly is considered a fashion icon, and that people still listen to this Oscar-winning rendition of “Moon River.”

Plus, Uncle Jed is it. How can you lose?

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One Response to “WATCHING: Breakfast at Tiffany’s”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. WATCHING: Wait Until Dark « Somewhere Different - January 5, 2012

    […] won’t be the first time I’ve discussed an Audrey Hepburn film. And it probably won’t be the last. Regardless, Wait Until Dark is amazing. You need to watch […]

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