Review: Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Nominal GDP per capita is 18 times greater today than it was in 1961. So when you we are informed that Holly Golightly gets paid $50 by men “for the powder room” she’s actually getting $900. So is she some sort of prostitute or something? Except for the mysterious $900 payments, the movie presents no other evidence that she has sex with anyone.
A girl like Holly would not exist today, at least not as presented in the movie. A “wild” girl today would act a lot less naïve and have many visible tattoos.
People in 1961 probably found Mickey Rooney’s portrayal of the Japanese upstairs neighbor funny, but today it’s more funny for how racist it is than for its inherent comedy. Indeed, some people think that Breakfast at Tiffany’s is the most racist movie in the history of post-WWII Hollywood.
The story: Paul Varjack, a guy who receives substantial amounts of money (given the 18-times ratio) from a rich somewhat-older woman for unspecified reasons, spends the movie being a white-knight friend-zoned cuck to Holly Golightly (played by the anorexically skinny miscast Audrey Hepburn), and is rewarded for his good beta behavior by finally winning the girl. I guess nothing was much different in “romcom” movies 55 years ago.
But I was more concerned about the cat. In order to leave some suspense for people who haven’t watched the movie, I won’t give away the most important part of the ending.
To be fair, the movie was full of quirky and unusual characters and some pretty humorous social situations. I found it quite entertaining despite its shortcomings. And there are some great shots of New York City in 1961.