Call it a cliche, but before we moved to New York my roommate and I put on Breakfast at Tiffany’s, all starry-eyed about one day being fabulous big city socialites. We passed out halfway through with a box of pizza at our feet (VERY Mag Wildwood, tbh), but that instance aside I always make the time to watch the Audrey Hepburn classic. There’s no other creature as captivating as Holly Golightly and I love watching win over half of Manhattan, only to reluctantly fall for struggling writer Paul Varjak. Theirs is an uneven courtship that exists as an exercise in spontaneity, and I’m sure you must think it gives me serious #relationshipgoals.
Eh, kinda not. The romance between Holly and Paul is sort of awkwardly stapled onto Truman Capote’s original story. Regardless, I’ve watched the film so many times that I’ve definitely absorbed some interesting perspectives when it comes to the matter of love. So here are all the lessons about flirting, dating millionares, and feline life mates that I’ve learned from Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Apparently you can tell how someone feels about you based on what jewelry they get you.
This is more or less a Holly paraphrase, and it has SOME truth in it. See, due to Holly’s unconventional dating style (ahem) she has men gift her with money or trinkets for her companionship. What’s interesting is that from a garden variety millionaire beau a pair of pearl earrings is really a drop in their well. And although Paul gets her an engraved crackerjack ring, it’s with the only money he has on hand. Is there a correlation there?
Maybe. Honestly, the last time a guy got me a gift I was in Hot Topic and I had braces, so I’m not really the person to ask.
You know what people find cute? Breaking and entering. (Um, maybe not?)
Holly is a swanlike vessel of charisma in a black sheath dress, but you know, sometimes she has boundary issues. Case and point, when she gets cornered by an uncouth suitor she goes through Paul’s window, climbs into his bed, and is all, “Mind if I crash here, Fred daaaaaahling?” SHE makes it look charming, because she’s Holly Golightly. I do it and all of a sudden my ex-boyfriend is calling the cops on me.
Although, on the flip side, if your date ends up a boorish monster, by all means enlist help to get out of there.
You know what people ACTUALLY find cute? Being supported creatively.
In any relationship, platonic, romantic or otherwise, this is hugely important. Still, I find it particularly sweet that Holly gifts an uninspired Paul with a typing ribbon…which he uses to then write about her. Dreamy.
It’s important to challenge each other to try new things.
The only part of the movie where I truly ship Holly and Paul is when they explore New York hand-in-hand and (very literally) dare each other to try new things. Honestly, it’s the kind of adorable date that we all dream of having. I think you really SHOULD have someone who pushes you out of your comfort zone…that is, to the point where it feels fun and doesn’t get you arrested.
To love someone is to own them (Again, maybe not)
“I love you, you belong to me!” Shhhhhh. Paul, shhhhh.
Honestly, though, it’s fine to give in to love, even if it means giving up your exciting life as the It Girl of New York Cafe Society.
I don’t understand it, I really don’t, but if Holly really WANTS to be with Paul at the end of the film then she should just go for it. For what it’s worth, she spend the whole film so guarded and being tossed around between benefactor boyfriends who treat her like a novelty. It may be good for her to knock down her walls and go for the guy who will bail her out of jail. If it doesn’t work out, she’ll just have another story to tell.
And at the end of the day, all a girl needs is her cat.
Oh my god, when Holly is reunited with Cat in the rain I cry so hard. They are my Allie and Noah.
[Image via MGM]