…unless her name is Holly Golightly. Half a century has passed since this young and cunning New York socialite was brought to life by Audrey Hepburn in the iconic movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), the one that set Hepburn on her 60s Hollywood course. However, it still remains as a strong presence on the scene of romantic masterpieces, inspiring many young producers in their movie-making journey.
What started as two strangers sharing a phone in the morning has evolved into a beautiful love story, one which overcame many fears and insecurities. Calling herself a free spirit, Holly meets the writer Paul Varjak (George Peppard), who becomes almost instantly captivated by his eccentric neighbor, the girl with a cigarette-holder in hand, with subtly streaked hair pinned high, and a certain mystery surrounding her every move. After stating how much Paul reminds her of her brother Fred, whom she has not seen in years, the two quickly become friends in their want for something outside of their current lot.
Paul and Holly are a lot more alike than they would like to admit. She appears as that Manhattan party girl who expects “money for the powder room as well as for cab fare” for her companionship. Varjak is a kept man by his “decorator”, the married and well off Emily Eustace Failenson (who he refers to as 2E) which allows him not to write, something he no longer truly does. Eventually, the writer falls for the wild spirit that is Holly, and wants to take care of her, instead of being taken care of as is his current situation. The evolution of their relationship is portrayed as a challenge that both Holly and Paul have to face in order to find happiness next to each other.
Even though Truman Capote – author of the novella of the same name – had envisioned Marilyn Monroe as Holly and believed that Audrey was completely wrong for the part, today it is hard to imagine anyone else as the troubled socialite. “I should be a stylish Holly Golightly. Even if that’s all I can contribute”, said Hepburn. She regarded the chic Golightly as one of her most challenging roles, since she was an introvert required to play an extrovert.
Riccardo Tisci, creative director of Givenchy, said of Holly’s iconic black dress: “It was 1961 and this dress is in a way very sixties. The front is severe, elegant, very clean, but at the back there is the very interesting neckline, somewhere between ethnic and Parisian; a softness that other designers in that time didn’t have.”
Received positively at the time, Breakfast at Tiffany’s was also deemed as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress in 2012, making this romantic comedy film a must see for anyone who loves old Hollywood cinema.