Feb 18, 2007

down with love!*

Okay, several days late and many, many dollars short -

But apparently the Valentine's Day movie at the Arclight was Breakfast at Tiffany's.

I've said it before, I've said it again. Despite it's canonization, despite it being a cultural touchstone for zillions of women - there is *nothing* romantic about this movie. Nothing.

Sure, on the surface? It certainly seems romantic. It has Audrey Hepburn, after all! And diamonds! Who doesn't love diamonds!? You watch it with someone you love and it seems like a tale of love overcoming all odds.

But then. Then one night you decide to watch it in the middle of night, alone. And it cuts you deep. You realize that it's actually the tale of two horribly damaged people who are so self-destructive that the only chance they have for a semblance of "happiness" is to be with each other.

It's much, much more blatant in the novella - but Holly Golightly is basically a golddigger one step removed from prostitution. But she has such style, you say! But she perfected the Little Black Dress!. Uh huh. And Carrie's increasingly outlandish outfits on SATC were meant to be taken at face value. [a Salon article that I can't find right now points out that Holly was intended as satire of the elite or something].

This is a woman who runs as soon as the going gets tough - who pushes away people as soon as they manage to crack her tough exterior. She even ran as far as she could from her family because they knew the "real" her. The awkward redneck and not the ideal that she puts forth. And because she saves some cat after she threw it out in the rain, she's now capable of love? No. Sorry.

Paul/Fred is basically a closeted "kept man." Holly is a whore. And these are the people we're supposed to root for?

And it's not just that they're terrible people - because, hey, I'm a terrible person as well and believe that hopefully I can find love. It's just that there's not much poetry, not much romance in the film. It's become seized upon and re-marketed as someone's "idea" of romance - flowers, diamonds, pink and girly - without anyone bothering to note the film's all too painful and real emotional undercurrents.

Besides the fact that I've been man enough to chose Kate, when I think about romance, about love, about lust in the movies -

I think about the sweet longing in Katherine's voice as she says, "My, she was yar." I think about Barbara Stanwyck's legs, in both the Lady Eve and Double Indemnity. The purr in Clooney's butterscotch voice when he tells J. Lo, "it's not a game, it's nothing something you play." Eva Green in a beret, smoking...Eva Green in a shower, wet. I think of James Bond saying "Tracy" is the sweetiest, happiest tone imaginable as Diana Rigg skates up to him. Heck - I even think of Audrey Hepburn smoldering with Cary Grant in Charade as not even really, really obvious rear-projection ruins the moment.

But most of all? I think of a gas station, somewhere in France. Snowfall. Catherine Deneuve and a Michel Legrand score all begging us to remember when we were young and everything seemed possible.

The only moment of Breakfast at Tiffany's that sticks in my subconscious is "Moon River." But the song itself reduces me to tears almost everytime I hear it.

* - actually a good movie that proves that, despite Studio 60, Sarah Paulson is capable of being funny.