Reel for Real: Rating the Dates in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

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Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a movie people often romanticize — no doubt, in part to its iconic star Audrey Hepburn — but could potential daters use the film’s flights of fancy to find love in real life?

The 1961 Blake Edwards film (based on Truman Capote’s novella) features Ms. Holly Golightly (Hepburn) and her new neighbor Paul (George Peppard: The A-Team’s Hannibal). They are, as the theme song goes, “two drifters off to see the world” (aka New York City). She: keeps company with generous men. He: keeps shirtless with one generous woman.

Their courtship is rather a retroactive one (really more a friendship with encounters that could be date adventures). Let me break it down for you:

Movie Date: The title meal (that opens the movie) is not a date so much as a very classy walk of shame. Hepburn, in evening dress and tiara, noshes on a danish and sips coffee while window-shopping at the famous Gotham jeweler. Date-Rating: Very literal date-makers could propose a breakfast at Tiffany’s, though dressing up for an early-morning, stand-up carb-/caffeine-loading may not be all that sexy in actuality. I suggest using it as a meet-up place for a date elsewhere.

Movie Date: The first (arguably) official date is “a drink” proposed by Holly (girl power) to Paul (she calls him Fred because he reminds her of her brother – awkward). The invite (pictured at left) seems like a one-on-one, but turns out to be a party. (The NYC apt. jam is realistically random and in cramped quarters.) Date-Rating: Mixed signals galore (hence: “arguably”). Invite for a drink (yes = date), signed “Your friend” (not = date), attached to a thoughtful gift (possibly = date), but actually a party packed w/strangers (not = date), slight moment of alone time (maybe = date?) interrupted by dude she hits on/ leaves with (def. not = date and ouch!). So: A party at your place may not make for a great get-to-know-you date, but could be fun if both parties know what to expect.

Movie Date: The next two encounters are: visiting her generous (“connected”) friend in Sing Sing (Yes, the prison.) and then Paul, after meeting her stalking ex-husband, brings him to her. Um… Date-Rating: Yeah. I can’t see how visiting with a convicted felon or an ex-hubby can be spun into a “good” date. But if you’re up to it, hey, enjoy. Definitely a story.

Movie Date: There’s a short interlude between those above: Holly strums a guitar and sings “Moon River” sitting outside her window. Paul, who was writing his Holly-based story, peers down at her from his fire escape window. Date-Rating: They literally say: “Hi.” “Hi.” “Whatcha doing?” “Writing.” before he leaves to answer his doorbell, but it really is a sweet (and smile-filled) “moment” between them. A fire escape serenade and some subtle chat could be a great date. (Look who’s romanticizing now.) :)

Movie Date: Paul goes with Holly to see the ex-hubby off (terrible start for a date). She’s then so weepy (again, no good) she wants to go get sloshed. So… they head to a strip bar. (No one really mentions the strip bar scene when they talk about Breakfast at Tiffany’s, do they? Romance!) Date-Rating: Though the evening ends with Paul carrying Holly over her threshold, this date ends in a spat you saw coming a mile away. You never want a potential love interest so drunk they get belligerent. No dates in the champagne room.

Movie Date: The big date comes days later after they make up. Paul reveals he’s sold a story, so they decide to celebrate by going out to do things they’ve each never done before. This includes: a morning walk, a visit to Tiffany’s (inside this time), the public library and finally to a 5-and-dime store to go to steal something – like Holly did as a kid. Date-Rating: The clear winner! A walk, Tiffany’s, library and some petty theft may not be the perfect formula for all, but the date idea is a fun and revealing one: Take turns doing things you’ve never done. (Bonus: this date ended in a passionate kiss.)

The fickle Golightly doesn’t make it that easy for her smitten suitor, nor does circumstance (or Capote maybe). But throughout, especially in a couple moments of need, Paul remains a friend. Breakfast at Tiffany’s dates may not make for real-life romance, but poses that friendship may be a great place to start.

Ernio Hernandez is a Leo, likes long walks on the beach (minus the walking) and got a PhD in Advance Body Movin’. He is a lover (and a writer) of pop culture, arts & entertainment and social media. Follow him: at ernio.com, @ernio on twitter and mashismo.tumblr.com – just not into the bathroom.