Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) follows the classic structure of a romantic comedy complete with a character for comic relief, a beautiful setting of Manhattan and a flawless script. Because Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a classic romantic comedy, it has contributed to the model of the genre: a boy, Paul meets a girl, Holly and he falls in love with her. He then loses her to a Spanish man who seduces Holly with his wealth but gets her back at the end of the movie. The movie ends with the classic kiss with Cat awkwardly sandwiched between the beautiful couple. Breakfast at Tiffany’s set the standards for romantic comedies to come and introduced some provocative concepts that were being accepted as women were gaining independence in the 60s. The main character, Holly lives on her own in a big city and admits to going on dates with many men. In the 1960’s American cinema was taking a risky turn to appeal to the younger Baby Boomer generation and romantic comedies like Breakfast at Tiffany’s started to add sexual appeal and women having more independence.

The comedic element of Breakfast at Tiffany’s comes from Holly’s whimsical lifestyle and the character, Yunioshi. At least half way through the movie, the audience understands how sad Holly actually is despite her charismatic and playful attitude. Holly struggles with her own identity and believes that success means finding a rich man to marry. Her whimsical actions and sense of humor mask her internal problems, add comic relief to the film, and make her character more relatable to the audience. Yunioshi’s presence in the movie is purely for comic relief. He is the annoyed neighbor that all audience members have had and can depend on for humor. Breakfast at Tiffany’s script is also full of light hearted and timeless humor.

The script for Breakfast at Tiffany’s reveals internal issues that the characters face while also adding humor into the film. The main character, Holly struggles with the idea of “belonging” to someone; she feels that she is trapped when commitment is brought up because she is unsure about her own identity. Regarding why she has not named her cat, Holly says, “The way I see it I haven’t the right to give him one. We don’t belong to each other…I don’t want to own anything until I find a place where me and things go together.” When Paul professes his love for her, she responds with a terrified face and a simple, “So what” (Breakfast at Tiffany’s). The film’s script reveals Holly’s quick-witted humor makes her a loveable character that has to overcome the struggles of a 1960’s independent woman.

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4 thoughts on “Breakfast at Tiffany’s

  1. I’ve been meaning to watch this movie for a long time, but I still haven’t done it. After writing the term paper for this class and looking into romantic comedies so much, I’m definitely even more curious to see how it is structured and what elements would go on to become common throughout the whole genre.

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  2. I have not seen this movie, but have always heard good things (my mom loves it). It would be interesting to see what television and movies would be producing today if not for films like “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” taking such the risks they did.

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  3. I love this film and love that you wrote a review on it. When I watched it as a younger girl I feel like little tomboy me was like “Yeah! When I grow up I won’t be with any boy and get cooties!” Rewatching in my teens and now I understand it so much better (and still relate although not in the same way). I think it was a great risk that payed off and I agree it set the scene for all romantic comedies after.

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  4. I have wanted to see this movie for so long, but have not done it jet. Really have to do it soon. I have seen Gossip Girl so many times and there are so many references to this movie in the series.

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