Let’s get weird. In this edition of “First Time Watching”, I sat down and watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It was a long movie and I had to view it in two sittings because I got tired halfway through. Next time I’ll use toothpicks to keep my eyelids open.
Here are my thoughts on the movie, in no specific order, and without making the plot entirely clear.
I had heard about this movie before, but never knew what it was about. My best guess was that someone went to a restaurant called, Tiffany’s, for breakfast. Almost like if Gilmore Girls was called, Breakfast at Luke’s.
Failing that theory, I thought maybe there was a girl named Tiffany, who hosted breakfast for her friends. I’m picturing platters of croissants, and small coffee cups that force your fingers to cramp up after holding them.
Neither of those things ended up being true.
The title of the movie refers to a woman who goes to Tiffany & Co. in the morning. A jewelry store.
THEY DON’T EVEN SERVE FOOD THERE.
What a misleading title, though you could probably write a whole paper on the underlying meaning behind it. I won’t, but you could.
The main character is Holly Golightly. Google says she is a call girl and criminal. I’ve heard people say that name before, but I just thought it was a figure of speech, like the name “Karen”.
I never knew it was stolen from a movie.
You don’t hear people saying, “Wow, that guy is such a Buzz Lightyear.” Why? Why don’t people say that?
Anyway, Holly’s real name is Lula Mae and she married a rich old man – I have his name written down as “Doc” – when she was 14. Their marriage was annulled “years ago” but the old man comes back and tries to take her away. She refuses and he accepts it without putting up much of a fuss.
If this movie were set in 2020, he would’ve kidnapped her in a suitcase and boarded a train. So, it was nice to see that situation not escalate into something dark.
Also, that old man was a loser and deserved some sort of comeuppance. He body-shamed Holly, multiple times, and suggested she eat something.
Hey pal, go tie up your tongue with a shoelace and shut your mouth with velcro, we don’t need to hear your suggestions.
Anyway, let’s talk about Paul.
It was a pleasant surprise to find that I shared a name with a character in a movie. That doesn’t happen too much.
Paul and Holly (Polly?) formed a connection fairly quickly, after he moved into her apartment building in New York. They seemed to be in a final two alliance, even though she was non-committal.
She called him “Fred” a lot, which confused me. Fred is her brother and doesn’t appear in the movie. Modern day movies should steal this idea. Introduce characters, but never give them a face.
That way, when you make 18 sequels, you have new characters to develop and don’t have to rely on far-fetched storylines. You’re welcome.
There were multiple occasions where Paul was reading something, whether it was a post-it note, a check, or a newspaper, and the camera zoomed in on it and stayed there long enough so the viewer could read it.
I loved that.
Paul took Holly to Tiffany’s with a $10 budget. They ordered two grilled cheeses, without the cheese because that’s all they could affo…oh wait, they didn’t do that because Tiffany’s isn’t a restaurant. Sorry, we covered this earlier. I’m just using repetition for rhetorical effect.
The salesman offered them a Sterling Silver Telephone Dialer.
I was going to make a joke that nowadays we just use our fingers, but after reading some definitions and looking at photos, I have no clue what a Telephone Dialer actually does, so I don’t know if my joke works or not.
I feel so young.
Anyway, they don’t buy that. Instead, Paul says they could have something engraved, but the salesman says he must buy something first.
El Cheapo Grande finally pulls out a ring he got in a Cracker Jack box and asks to have it engraved.
I think that gesture meant a lot to Holly because before this, she just wanted to marry a rich man. Paul was winning her over with small gestures that didn’t cost any money
because he had none.
Oh, did I mention that Paul is a writer? Well, at least when he feels like it. He’s very good at not being a writer, while claiming to be a writer.
I felt attacked.
Paul brought Holly to a library and showed her the book he wrote, Nine Lives. What a smooth cat. Holly was very loud in the library and not in a “the audio guy needs to pick up my voice with the boom mic” way but, rather, in a “no one has ever told me that libraries are supposed to be a quiet place” way.
Hey, no wonder he was cheap at the jewellery store – people read his book for free.
After autographing his own book – also known as defacing public property – the two kind-of lovebirds run into a “5 & 10” store with the intention of stealing something.
What a couple of goons!
By the way, is a “5 & 10” store the equivalent to a dollar store, or did the NFL have a 5th down back then?
I’ll pause, so that joke can sink in.
They ended up stealing a couple of masks because they knew I’d watch this movie for the first time during a global pandemic and masks are a thing.
Again, I felt attacked.
Anyway, Holly gets arrested. Not for stealing the masks, but for her role in a drug ring. Don’t worry, she gets out of jail – almost immediately.
She hops in a taxi with Paul and her plan is to escape to Mexico. He doesn’t want her to go because he loves her. She is resisting because “she doesn’t want to be put in a cage”.
If only this movie had acknowledged the fact that their couple name is “Polly”, that line would’ve had an extra layer of meaning.
Paul says he doesn’t want to put her in a cage, he wants to love her.
Wow, that cut deep.
She has the taxi driver pull over, so she can open the door and send her cat on its way. Oh yeah, she has a cat. It doesn’t have a name. She calls it, “Cat”. Not even, “Cool Cat”. For shame.
With the nameless kitten out of the picture, the taxi keeps going to the airport, so she can flee to Mexico.
But wait! Not even four minutes later – of course I checked – Paul has convinced her to stay and be with him. She gets out of the taxi and wouldn’t you know it – it’s raining. Pathetic fallacy acting pathetic, once again.
Holly runs down the sidewalk, calling out for Cat. She finds the cat very quickly because the movie is already running a bit long.
Holly and Paul kiss in the rain, while standing next to trash cans in an ally, as the cat is squished between their bodies and nuzzling their chins with its head.
It’s a very 1961 Hollywood ending.
My final verdict is that I liked the movie. I didn’t always know why some things were happening, but I enjoyed the ride.
Most movies make the viewer feel like they are witnessing the most important days of the characters’ lives. Almost as if nothing was going on in their life until the cameras started rolling.
I did not get that sense with Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Watching this movie was like we were window shopping and then something caught our eye, so we went in. Does that make sense?
It didn’t feel like they were trying to advance a plot or create scenarios for the sake of entertainment. Everything felt natural, almost dull, but not in a bad way.
A couple of notes pertaining to music:
1. They played Moon River at least three times throughout the movie. I notice these things.
2. The song, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, had been popping up in my recommended Spotify playlists and I never really cared for it until after watching the movie. I looked up the lyrics and all they are is one person rehashing an old conversation with a girl about how they have nothing in common, except they both liked this movie.
More musicians should just rehash conversations and turn them into songs. It could go something like this:
You went out to the store
and I asked you to buy me some chips
but you said the flavour I wanted was not there
(was not there-ere-ere)
so I asked for a picture of the shelf
and you sent me one a little bit blurry
(little bit blurry-urry-urry)
but I could tell I didn’t like the flavours
so I said don’t worry about it
(worry about it-it-it)
When they give me my Grammy for that, I’m going to say it took me 56 seconds to write and that everyone else in the room isn’t on my level. Set your PVR, DVR, and VHS tape. There will be a commotion.
Anyway, I think I’ve run out of things to say about Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Good movie; don’t think I’d watch it again unless I was forced.
I’ve decided to start ranking the movies I’m watching for the first time. I reserve the right to abandon the rankings at any time, without warning, so don’t get too attached to them.
Thank you for reading!
First Time Watching Rankings
1. Back to the Future
2. Groundhog Day
3. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
4. Jurassic Park
5. The Matrix
Have you seen Breakfast at Tiffany’s? What did you think of it? What should I watch next?