Metacell wrote: and on that line:
Breakfast at Tiffany's
As I'm more or less solidly in my middle age now (45), I guess I felt I should start embracing all the "classics" of my culture and history, in art, literature, and film, just so I can justify that I tried to take it all in and smell the roses and whatnot, although I agree with Noam Chomsky that most of the so-called "classics" aren't anything special other than the first of their genre to garner widespread awareness and approval, and aren't really any better than the other pop-schlock stuff that critics dismiss, so consume whatever you enjoy.
Anyway, I really wanted to watch Casablanca, but it's not available for streaming on Netflix, and this was the first in the "also recommended" queue. So I thought "What the hell, I've got laundry to fold."
Man, this movie is bizarre. These are supposed to be struggling socialites or something...and all I could think is how sumptuously they lived. That ratty NY pad would go for a few thou. And the writer guy who hasn't worked for years other than as a boy-toy for fairly attractive rich senator's wife or whoever. I mean, gosh, if this is down on your luck and awash in a world gone mad...and then I thought...oh, yeah, I'm glimpsing through the anthropological scope into a world of Hollywood mythology which fed on itself and both amplified and distorted reality. It also reminded me, that at one point, fine suits and evening gowns were the only sort of apparel anybody wore in America.
So, down the rabbit hole. The comedy...well it's not funny at all (and I love Blake Edward's Pink Panther movies), it's all sort of sad and off-kilter. I had to research that the Capote novel is really way more bleaker and hardcore, and I get the feeling that the people in this movie are basically like lower-upper class Romans...people who don't ever actually have to toil and work or anything, but for whom the ever-present threat of Plebian existence threatens to drown their star-studded cocktail party. I.e. courtesan prostitutes or royal guard types, not quite rich enough to lord it over anybody else.
Of course the Mickey Rooney role is offensively unfunny, it's been addressed elsewhere. This is of course, a solid white movie. Everyone smokes and drinks like a hobo off their methadone. It's insane. This was mainstream culture once.
So, while interesting, I'd have to say that as entertainment, it's sort of like some vile, excruciating torture...I found the characters false, ingenuine, unbelievable to the extreme, superimposed over this lap-of-luxury technicolor cinematography...the look of the movie is fantastic!
Then we get to that last 3 minutes, where she throws the cat out of the cab into the rain, where I'm thinking "Oh no you did NOT! I don't care how poorly you treat other people, but you do not do that to an animal!": the point where in real life, even if it was Audrey Hepburn, I'd be like..."I...HAVE...HAD...ENOUGH...OF....YOU!!!"
Although, to it's credit, that's what Peppard's character does, and it totally turns the movie around, because for about two minutes, it's this existential work of art...and it got me thinking...is this what love is really like? Underneath all the glitz and pretense, these cave people fought their instincts through the veneer of civilization long enough to make it stick?
Good thing those THE END credits come up quickly, because my next though was, good luck brother...the next day, she'll be just as crazy and just as wandersome.
Anyway, it did make me think and feel something, I guess that's why it's a "classic". From now on, I'm only watching the last three minutes though.
There is a great graphic look to much of it. I thought it was made a couple years after it actually was, largely because of the stylishness.
But other than that, the pixie dream girl is an annoying head case. I never much cared for Mickey Rooney to begin with, but that part is just so awful.