Breakfast at Tiffany's

Breakfast at Tiffany's ★★★★

Some movies just work on an inexplicable level where everything seems to fall perfectly into place and Breakfast at Tiffany’s is one of them.

A transitioning New York is captured in elusive beauty at the interchange between the chic romanticism of the fifties and the liberating, easygoing sixties of late night cocktail parties and sexual freedom. I went in expecting another slightly dated but charming classic Hollywood comedy and certainly got that, but director Blake Edwards brings a real understanding of physical comedy into his film, using his love of silent comedy stars like Chaplin and Keaton to get unexpected laughs that still work on a universal level today, without becoming dated. The cocktail party scene is a prime example, he just makes it seem like so much fun, the place to be where anything goes and people are free to let the eccentricities run wild.

I also wasn't anticipating so much poignant drama and romance. Hepburn and Peppard have wonderful chemistry together, with Hepburn in particular finding her best role yet. Truman Capote wanted Marilyn Monroe for the role of Holly but I can't see anyone else bringing as much class and ditsy sophistication that Hepburn did, her fashion icon status cemented in some of her most memorable outfits here.

Unfortunately it is ruined by one particularly nasty element that makes its age glaringly obvious. Mickey Rooney in yellowface portraying a caricatured Asian character is offensive, unfunny and totally unnecessary, but it remains an integral part of film history and an important reminder of how far things have come since then. Despite this the fim's charm still remains intact and is well deserving of classic status. The final scene in the pouring rain had me totally won over.

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