I am someone who likes to live in the present. Though like most people I enjoy an occasional walk down memory lane and plan for the future, I also like to make the present as happy and fulfilling as possible. What enjoyment I can get from life today, I am not keen in waiting for tomorrow. Tomorrow, there’ll be some new fun thing to enjoy, while yesterday, however fun is not really going to happen again. So I was not really into old movies until one of my friends mentioned how glamorous they feel compared to today’s movies. I had read a lot about ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ and loving Audrey Hepburn’s style I watched it.
I totally enjoyed it and especially loved the scene on the fire-escape, as well, as her quirky blue sleeping mask. Entertaining as the movie was, I wasn’t really hooked on to old movies and was definitely not interested in watching black and white movies. (For those of you who haven’t seen it Breakfast at Tiffany’s, it’s in Eastman colour.)
More than a year later, last month to be precise, I wanted to watch a fun girly movie, but there was nothing on the horizon. That’s when my mom suggested Roman Holiday. I remember her talking about this movie since I was a child. At those times, my only reaction was to smile and agree to watch it someday with her. Anyway, this evening after I got off the phone with my mom, I got the movie, put my little one to bed, and settled down to watch with a mug of mint green tea and a bag of peanut M&Ms.
The first scene, when princess loses her shoe during a formal appearance had me giggling. I could so relate to removing my heels under a table and having to figure out how to elegantly slide into them when I suddenly have to get up. Now let me tell you this, I am not a giggler and never have been. I am know for laughing out loud and banging on the piece of furniture closet to me, with the palm of my hand, when highly amused.
I watched completely engrossed as Princess Anne loses her cool composure after days of public appearances, which are physically and mentally taxing, and has to be sedated. Before the sedative takes effect, she is attracted by the lights of the city and climbs out of her room at the embassy, in Rome, to escape for a night on the town. Obviously, she passes out on the street and is helped by a gentleman on his way home.
As most of these stories go, the passing gentleman happens to be a man about town journalist who decides she is the story of his career and pretends to help her. In the process they fall in love and he reforms (I don’t know what else to call giving up a career opportunity like that), while she enjoys the fun of being a regular person having a day of carefree fun in the sun. This is obviously a much repeated story today, though I’m sure when it came out it may have been a first.
Two things about this movie caught me unawares. One was the quality of the actors and the pace of story-telling. Right from the first scene I didn’t miss the colour that I’m so used to. I actually forgot about that aspect completely! The second unexpected element was the ending. For such a beautiful, as well as, girlie story it had an extraordinarily practical and believable ending. Today, I don’t know any movie with the similar target audience that can get away with an ending like that.
Now, I’m not going to say anymore, except that this is a movie that lives up to the hype and expectations, any you would do well not to miss it. I would rate it above the famous ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ and have to thank my mother for showing me something new, again.
By the way, her haircut in the movie is tempting me to get something drastic done and I have to use all my powers of mental persuasion on myself to restrain. Wish me luck.
Directed by William Wyler, starring With Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, Eddie Albert and Hartley Power.
Stay Happy Everyday
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