Sunday, September 20, 2009

Roman Holiday (1953)

TOP 100 FILMS: #80

When a princess (Audrey Hepburn, in her oscar winning debut) escapes her sheltered life, and full time guardians in Rome, she accidentally runs into American news reporter, Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck). As the two begin to fall for one another, Joe becomes torn between love and the story of a lifetime.

I'll admit I have a secret thing for Audrey Hepburn, when it comes to cinema's beauties she'd rank #1 on my list every single time. Not only that but she's countered by the simply amazingly likeable screen presence of Gregory Peck, who nearly refused to market the film unless Hepburn was giving star billing. Add these two together, and you a fun, exciting, and romantically inclined film, with all the magic you'd want from these two stars.

Perhaps the most striking thing about Roman Holiday after you watch is that it combines fantasy with reality to the point in which you can actually by in to its story. Lets face it, the story is so incredibly far fetched you'd have to laugh it off as another cheese romance film, and yet the ending fights back all cliches, instead offering you a realistic, portrayal of two characters, who will always love each other, just in their own way. Wyler continues his amazing ability with characters, bringing out the life in them, allowing us to feel for them, and in return, cheer for their happiness.

Wyler and the writers do this in a rather unique setup, using fun scenarios to bring our characters to life, as opposed to conversation or separate events that push our characters towards each other. A design structure that has been adopted by basically every romance film since Roman Holiday, but none have been able to duplicate. The chemistry between Peck and Hepburn is unmatched, and as such we're given a true cinematic treat, with characters you just have to love.

Wyler and companies gift for storytelling comes to life in one of the greatest romance films ever made.

2 better thoughts:

filmgeek said...

Audrey is my favourite actress of all time and Roman Holiday is such a great debut

DEZMOND said...

Yes, this was one of Audrey's best roles. I'm a bit puzzled how Hollywood hasn't made a remake of this so far :)

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