Book & Movie Review: Breakfast at Tiffany’s

We all love our books, and there are times we wish they could come to life on the big screen. Sometimes our wish comes true and those beloved stories soon hit theaters. Yet as excited as we are for the movie version to come to be they are not always good experiences. Perhaps a character is portrayed incorrectly, important scenes are left out or changed completely, or that wonderful story has been reduced to something with no plot but amazing CG effects. And then there are times when the movie is absolutely stunning and you are left with such an amazing feeling after watching it.

How I First Encountered Breakfast At Tiffany’s

So I’ve known about Breakfast At Tiffany’s for a while now but only just recently have I gotten around to reading, or in this case listening to, the book and watching the movie. I had no idea what it was about going into it and I’ll admit that almost every time I hear the words ‘breakfast at tiffany’s’ I would think about the song with that same title by Deep Blue Something. I’ll also admit that until I typed up this post I had no idea who sang that song, simply that it existed and I have heard it more times than I can remember. But disregarding my overall ignorance for all things related to Breakfast At Tiffany’s I have been telling myself for a while now that I need to read the book and watch the movie and so that’s exactly what I did.

The Book

Going into this book not knowing anything about the story was probably a good thing. It allowed me to approach the story with a completely open mind, instead of going into it on the assumption that the characters or story would be a certain way. I have to admit that as I was listening to the story I was stuck sitting there thinking ‘what the heck is this story about?’. It felt very strange and I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect as the story progressed.

There was a decent mix of characters in this story, but none of them really stood out to me. At least they didn’t when I initially listened to the book. The story itself also seemed very strange at the time. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out exactly who and what Holly Golightly. One thing that stood out what that she seemed a lot older than the nineteen that she apparently was, and yet at the same time she had that youthful feel to her.

When I did finish the book the first thing I thought was ‘That was a very odd story’. This thought stuck with me for a while, but a day or so afterwards I began to realize that the story wasn’t necessarily odd, especially if you ignore the odd phrases used throughout, but in act it was actually quite good. It was obvious that I just needed time to fully digest the story before I could appreciate it. I still don’t quite fully get the story per say, but as far as classics go it was pretty good.

The Movie

My first thought about the movie was wondering how the hell Audrey Hepburn, who play’s Holly Golightly, was able to walk in that long tight skirt. Also there in that first scene the tile of the movie, and the book for that matter, actually comes to light. Let me say it though, I was not at all convinced that Holly was nineteen years old, she looked much older, like mid-late twenties. That being said, I feel that Audrey Hepburn did a pretty good job of playing Holly’s characters down to her many eccentricities. She also came off as less of a slut in the movie as compared to the book. When I read the book I didn’t get a really good image of what Paul looked like, but I have to admit that George Peppard did a good job with the role and was certainly easy on the eyes.

I did find that I didn’t get the feel of the time in which the story was set in. It’s supposed to be in the 40s, but honestly it just didn’t feel that way to me – except for the exceptionally low price of everything there was no real good way to judge what time period the movie was set in.

One thing I wish they had done differently was casting a different actor for the role of Mr. Yunioshi. I’m sorry but Mickey Rooney is not the right man for that role, he made Mr. Yunioshi seem super creepy, and sweaty, and I was glad he had a very minor role in the movie. I really don’t understand why they couldn’t have picked another actor for that job, preferably someone of Asian descent.

Overall I found the movie to be fairly good. It wasn’t a film that blew me away and begged me to watch it again, but it was simply good. Plus it was the first Audrey Hepburn movie I’ve ever seen, so that has to count for something.

How They Compare To Each Other

All in all I think the movie does a pretty good job of telling the story from the book. A lot of the main points are there, but of course there are the inevitable changes. Mag Wildwood has a very small role in the movie and is quite different from her character in the book – I was actually sad to see her not stuttering in the movie, that was part of what made her character who she was. Also the addition of a woman already in Paul’s life was something added to the movie and I honestly thought that part could have been left out as it didn’t add anything to the story in the end.

If you are looking for the better version of this story I would definitely recommend the book. But if you want the general gist of the story but with the typical romance happy ended then the movie would be the better choice. However, I would suggest both reading the book and watching the movie for those who have not yet done both, because it is worthwhile to do so.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *