By: Emily Kellas
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Like most royalty starved Americans I will admit to being intrigued with the mother lands marriage between Prince William and Kate Middleton. So this weeks retro review pays homage to the fanfare of royalty, and the pressures that can come with it, Audrey Hepburn’s debut, Roman Holiday. Directed by the famed William Wyler, this is the film that kick started the career of Hollywood’s most famous sophisticated lady, Audrey Hepburn. As her first film, Roman Holiday introduced Hepburn in 1953 in the most appropriate way possible, as royalty. Co-starring Gregory Peck and Eddie Albert the film is a fun romantic romp through one ofEurope’s most exquisite cities.
Roman Holiday is the story of Princess Anne (Hepburn), who is discontented with her scheduled life, and runs away for a night on the town during a royal visit toRome. While out she becomes quite tired and stumbles upon a down and out American reporter, Joe Bradley (Peck), who is in need of a good story to keep his job. Anne’s identity is unknown, as Bradley tries to help the sleepy lady, only for her to end up crashing in his apartment. After Bradley discovers the young girl’s identity he makes sure she has a good time inRome and documents her every move, what he couldn’t foresee was falling in love.
The film is fantastic from beginning to end. Romance aside it is a beautiful movie if only for its pristine location. The Roman monuments play a large role not only in the narrative but in reminding people of the history and romance thatRomecan bring. Speaking of romance, the chemistry between Peck and Hepburn works, somewhere between Peck’s dry humor and Hepburn’s naiveté, mutual attraction is found. Though I am tempted I won’t spoil the ending, but let’s just say that there is perhaps a hint of optimism.
The theme itself is what really struck me. The film, essentially, is the down to earth look at a Princess, a young woman, who is torn between her life of duty to her country and the primal desire for some much needed freedom. Not only does it show the Princess’s desire for normalcy but it also shows her struggle between selfishness, and selflessness. Something that I am sure the newly crowned Duchess of Wales will come across at some point. Hepburn does a brilliant job not only showing that struggle but also her infectious good nature takes hold of an unsuspecting audience.
Roman Holiday is an adorable film that stars some of Hollywood’s biggest legends. It combines great talent with spectacular scenery and camera work. For any royal aficionado this is a must see, even if just for the stellar performance given by Hepburn. So as the royal wedding hype dies down pick up where William and Kate left off and see Roman Holiday.