Saturday, March 28, 2015

Roman Holiday (1953)

Pretty, young, princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn) grows tired of her regal routine while visiting Rome. Her doctor gives her something to help her sleep, but instead she sneaks out of the palace in a stupor. She is found sleeping on a park bench by a reporter (Gregory Peck) who does not recognize her. After trying to safely ditch her, she ends up sleeping on his couch. When he finds out who she is, he realizes he could make a fortune selling an exclusive story. So, he convinces her to go on holiday for the day. Love blooms.

This is the movie that introduced Audrey Hepburn to America, and boy howdy. Audrey was adorably charming and Peck was charmingly awkward as normal. Eddie Albert (Green Acres) had a nice comedic secondary role. Cary Grant was intended for the male lead, but he deemed himself too old for the part. Ten years later he would see his way clear.

I was a little confused why Peck's character, who was scheduled to interview this very famous princess, had no idea what she looked like. No biggie, though. We were caught up in the charming story. I had long wanted to hit the rom-com sub-genre, but they can be so vapid. Not that low-rent sci-fi is all that, but at least they offer a nice monster from time to time. But I've hit three smart, entertaining films in recent weeks. I'll hit a few more before I move on (currently there is a serial in the works), but really there is no end of them.

Many American productions shot in Europe have this "look how hip and interesting we are drinking cappuccino alfresco" vibe to them. The Pink Panther's, Charade recently, even Repulsion a bit. I did not get that here. Rome looked wonderful (filmed in black and white so that it doesn't overwhelm the story), but the cheese factor never came into play. Clever, charming, and satisfying. AMRU 4.
"Is this the elevator?"

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