Saturday, May 31, 2008

Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote

"He's all right! Aren't you, cat? Poor cat! Poor slob! Poor slob without a name! The way I see it I haven't got the right to give him one. We don't belong to each other. We just took up one day by the river. I don't want to own anything until I find a place where me and things go together. I'm not sure where that is but I know what it is like. It's like Tiffany's."

In interest of full disclosure, I must confess this: Breakfast at Tiffany's is one of my favorite romantic movies. Except for the unfortunate Mickey Rooney role (playing a particularly painful Asian stereotype), its as good as anything I've seen in the genre. I liked the film a lot : I'd never read anything by Capote : and it was very, very short.

For those unfamiliar with the story : An unnamed writer living in a tenement in New York becomes embroiled in the eccentric, over-the-top affairs of Holly Golightly, his upstairs neighbor. She brings men home almost every night, lies constantly, and holds everyone at arm's length. She's also completely irresistible to the writer, and the book(and movie)'s dynamic rests on his unrealized desire to be with her.

The film ends writer and Holly kissing in the rain, and my sentimental streak says it's one of the most effective scenes in cinema. The book's ending is sadder and more open, as Holly leaves for Brazil and leaves her cat with the writer. Personally, I prefer the movie, but both are good.

Other changes : Holly is much more sexually involved : her language is rather coarse : she's blonde. Besides that, the novella and the film are pretty similar. Capote's writing is very pleasant. it has a nice flow and fits very well with the story he's telling. Breakfast at Tiffany's feels a little slight at points, but it was a worthwhile read and I might check out more Capote in the future.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Hey... MY book had a sadder ending than the movie TOO!