Thursday, December 10, 2015

BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S - A KEPT MAN and A WOMAN WHO PAYS HER RENT WITH TIPS

 
AUDREY HEPBURN BECAME A FASHION ICON WHEN GIVENCHY
DRESSED HER FOR THE ROLE OF A WAIF WHO
REINVENTED HERSELF TO BE A SOCIETY GIRL.
 
The film came out in 1961 and is
considered a Classic Romantic Comedy but it funny?
 
The novel was written by Truman Capote.

Holly Golightly, a character writer Truman Capote is said to have loosely based on his own divorced mother's search for a new husband, is an adventurer in New York City who came from a hard, impoverished background that included being orphaned and then married at 14.  Run away to New York City, she depends on her youth, beauty, and personality, to survive and hopes to live her life the wife of a rich worldy man.  To do that she must dress right, make friends, and be seen in all the right places.  Is she really fooling anyone though when she jams all her posh friends into a plain apartment?

She has a neighbor, a once published author, make that writer, who needs a patron and has one, a rich married woman.  His keeper has furnished and designed his apartment and he has a closet of beautiful suits she has gifted him.  He spends his days on call and awaiting her visits.  He's kept.

 
These two, Holly and the writer, discover they understand each other enough to be friends and to not hold their lifestyles against each other, so in the scene where they actually enter the exclusive and expensive store, Tiffany's, and go shopping, it's humbling that all they can afford is to have something he already owns engraved. They've both had a taste of the life they can't afford on their own to lead but facing reality leads to real, realistic love.
 
The writer's break up with his rich married keeper is cold.  He gives her attitude. She needs to remind him that he was bought.  No love there.  Just sex on call.  (The worst!)  Holly's final goodbye to her ex husband is handled by her with more sophistication, while he leaves no doubt he was Mr. Wrong all along.
 
Holly is nearing prostitution, though she herself doesn't think of the enormous tips men present her so she can tip the washroom attendants at exclusive restaurants they take her to, as being paid for sex or the promise of sex.  She is a unique combination of pragmatic, goal-oriented, and a dreamer.  She has retained some of her innocence.  The film is careful to show her deferring promises, such as that she might actually pose nude, so we don't actually know if she has slept with anyone or is just expert at being an experienced woman who can keep men hoping.  Her men knowingly over tip her and remind her that she owes them.   She uses the money to just make her rent.  Dinner's out keep her from starving though, she sure is skinny.  The  text on the box of the old VHS tape I rewatched this film with calls her a "playgirl," but I think that might be a 1961 word choice.
 
Holly has goals and while she has not entirely escaped her past or lost her ability to feel, her precarious and financially desperate situation begs a resolution.  Snobbed because of her reputation, "settling," for the writer isn't so bad after all.
 
Film Review and Commentary by Missy Rapport
Mistress Manifesto BlogSpot
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