This post is in the theme “Constructing an identity through media”. Read the first.
September 5, New York: For much of my teens and twenties all I wanted from romance was a Holly Golightly: a beautiful, brilliant, tortured girl who liked a taste of the sauce. Or, given that a romance with a Holly Golightly could never last, I’d settle for a series of these. This had predictably terrible consequences. But, man, I loved this movie and I loved the women who identified with it, dark blues and mean reds and all. Despite the constant jarring realization that Paul Varjack was also Hannibal from the A-Team (“I love it when a plan comes together.”) I thought this movie was one of the best of all time. I’ve probably watched it dozens of times. The young writer, struggling in New York. The beautiful, young tortured girl he loves. The dizzying ups and downs of spending an entire day drunk together. These were themes I was busy cultivating in my own life.
The book, more dark and ending with them apart, I found endlessly more believable. Of course they wouldn’t end up together and of course no one ever gets to deliver that heartfelt “I’m so indignantly correct.” speech he gives her in the cab at the end of the movie. But the book’s reality also added to the story’s danger; realism made it seem more attainable.
In this viewing I realized the only true hero in this tale is poor Cat. Holly and Paul hurt each other constantly, none of them is without blame. Holly cuts a memorable figure but seems exhausting. Paul Varjack is himself pretty terrible: judging, uneven of temperament and unclear in his intentions. Oh, how shocked he is to find that the second he comes on strong, Holly pushes him away. Duh, buddy, you’ve been watching this pattern for weeks now. And oof, how unwatchable is that terribly racist Mickey Rooney performance. But Cat? Lovable, party-loving Cat is the real hero of this film.
Relive your own tortured twenties relationships with a Breakfast at Tiffany’s viewing party.