For this month’s Dinner and a Movie event, I’ve selected another one of my favorite films of all time – Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Released in 1961, Breakfast at Tiffany’s is an utterly delightful, yet occasionally dark film about life, love and following your dreams. It was directed by Blake Edwards and stars the heavenly Audrey Hepburn and the hunky George Peppard. The movie was based on a 1958 novella of the same name written by Truman Capote.
Played by Hepburn, the film’s main character Holly Golightly, is a charming and madcap gadabout working her way through cocktail parties (and men) on Manhattan’s swank East Side. She lives in partially furnished apartment, owns a cat with no name and earns her living collecting “powder room money” from the the wealthy men she dates. She also gets rid of the “mean reds” by visiting Tiffany’s jewelry store, where she says, “… Nothing very bad could happen to you there, not with those kind men in their nice suits, and that lovely smell of silver and alligator wallets….”.
Holly is a nomad, ever seeking a place that she can call home. She never allows herself to care too much or get too attached to anyone or anything, because she is always searching. Almost everything she says and does in the film illustrates this outlook on life, and her inability to settle down. For her, the famed Tiffany’s represents security and a sense of belonging. Yet, these are the very things that Holly runs from.
Enter Paul Varjak, or “Fred”, as Holly calls him. Paul is a struggling young writer who moves into Holly’s apartment building one day. Paul is everything that Holly is not – staid, conservative and responsible. Still, the two become fast friends and ultimately fall in love.
The psychological struggle between the need for stability and the desire for freedom is evident throughout the film, and is perhaps the central theme of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. This conflict defines the relationship between Paul and Holly, who are opposing forces drawn together, each pulling out what they lack from each other. Holly Golightly’s story is perhaps in some way a part of all of us. The part that is constantly searching for our place in the world.
Aside from its subtext, Breakfast at Tiffany’s is all at once quirky, funny, stylish, sophisticated, and bittersweet. And, Audrey Hepburn is sublime! What more could you ask for in a movie?
I hope you’ll join my co-host Marc from No Recipes and I in this month’s Dinner and a Movie. I think there’s lots of inspiration to be found in Breakfast at Tiffany’s from breakfast dishes to cocktail party fare.
If you want to play along, visit our Dinner and a Movie page to get the rest of the details. Try to get your submissions in by the 20th of July, but a day or two later is okay. I’ll post the roundup by the 25th.