A film review. Of sorts.

Last night I went to the open air cinema at Kew Gardens. They’re showing films for three nights. The one I went to see was Breakfast at Tiffany’s.


I thought it sounded lovely. Watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s outside under the stars wrapped in a big jumper and a blanket, nibbling snacks from a little picnic basket. And it was lovely! Minus the picnic basket (I’d gone a bit crazy with the new Italian pastry things at work and was stuffed!). I also didn’t have my glasses with me and was sitting far enough back that this was a problem. If I just pretend it’s cool blurry special effect then it’s fine.


The main story seems to be that Holly Golightly is a… Um… A ‘good time girl’…. And Paul Varjack is a bit of a playboy. For people who make their money in the way that they do, they seem rather glamorous and fun and carefree and jolly. With lovely apartments in New York where they throw parties for the rich and famous and generally have tons of fun. Not sure I’d be able to find many ‘good time girls’ today in such favourable conditions. But anyway, who am I to point such things out! It was probably different in 1961.


Anyway, the story, which first appears to be about two people living in the same apartment and the buck-toothed Japanese guy (not sure that would be ok today) on the top floor who yells a lot, becomes a lot more complicated.

Holly Golightly is in search of money, essentially. It’s never really explained why she runs away to New York when she has a screen test with a director, apart from wanting to find herself. But surely a successful stint in films would have got her the money she talks about? Her pursuit of a man to marry is based purely on his bank account. Anyway, maybe the point is about her desires being inconsistent, she runs away from a chance to be in film and have money to ‘find herself’ then runs away from her search for herself to marry a man for money.

Suffice to say, a man falls in love with her, they spend a wonderful day doing things they’ve never done before and finally kiss. Then he tells her off a bit for her silliness. He tells her she’s put herself in a ‘cage’ and to kind of chill out a bit. So she leaps dramatically out of the taxi which she has told to go to the airport so she can jet off to Brazil and find a rich man. It is raining. Of course.

“CAT!” she yells, running daintily down the street. “CAT!”

(This isn’t her nickname for the man who has just told her off. This is actually a cat she’s looking for.)

She runs up and down a little alleyway searching for Cat. Eventually she finds him in between some old boxes and, as such, things become ok again. She sees Paul, she has the cat, things are suddenly perfect. They kiss, Cat’s little face gets mashed awkwardly inbetween them. All is well.

Presumably they went back to the apartment, maybe they both moved into his, because it’s nicer. He’s told his fancy woman it is over and is getting a bit of money from writing instead. And Holly? She’s erm, she’s…. What will she do? Keep entertaining men in the powder room for fifty dollars? Probably not. Paul has already told her that he does feel he owns her (in an ok way, I guess) and that they belong to each other. So he probably wouldn’t be ok with her entertaining other men. Hm.

So what do we know about her? She lived with people who mistreated her when she was younger. She was caught stealing by a man who she then married at 14 years old. She was ‘discovered’, taught French to straighten her accent out and ran away from a potential in films. We can presume she hasn’t been to school. She makes money entertaining men in powder rooms and dreams of marrying a rich man. Instead she gets together with a struggling writer. She also steals from shops.

What do we think settled life holds for her? A substandard office job, pregnancy and arguments with her significant other about the bills? They’d eventually break up, maybe. Or stay together unhappily, awkwardly making small talk over the dinner table, little Jimmy crashing about and making the Japanese man upstairs threaten police action again…

I kind of wanted her to run away to Brazil… To keep living the dream and stay glamorous and fun and free…. O well. I guess the reality is that she’s a prostitute and that’s actually not glamorous or fun or anything. It’s pretty rough, probably.

2 responses to this post.

  1. During the summers at Texas A&M University, we had open air movies every night. I learned that I am not a fan of open air movies or open air concerts. Some things just need to occur in a building.


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