Holly Golightly is my Guru. I don’t want to go to India or Indonesia to find a Guru, I just want to sit down and watch Holly strum and sing a melancholy “Moon River” in her apartment windowsill.
I love a ton of great movies, but when anyone asks me what my favorite movie of all time is, I still say “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” My husband and I walked down the aisle to get married to “Moon River”—“Two drifters, off to see the world, there’s such a lot of world to see…”
Kitty eventually became The Smoose, and she was our beloved pet for years. We hadn’t planned on having a pet, but couldn’t quit her, like Holly.
I was once even asked, as a screenwriter, to develop a treatment for a movie about a girl who loved “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” by producers Christine Peters and Robert Evans (“The Kid Stays in the Picture,” “The Godfather”).
The treatment I wrote got a young Liv Tyler attached to the project as the lead, but as often happens in Hollywood, the movie never got made.
I don’t want to be Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”—I just want to be her Huckleberry Friend. Holly needed a friend, besides that scruffy cat without a name and Paul Varjak—who let’s face it, was cute, but a little whiny.
Holly didn’t have a lot of girls to hang out with, and I think that was part of her problem. She reminds me of Marilyn Monroe, lost little girls who became lost women, except that in real life, Audrey Hepburn had children, and we all know that changes everything. Audrey was a Mommy.
I wish Marilyn had kids, that may have completely changed the end of her story. I sort of have a fantasy about being friends with both Marilyn Monroe and Holly Golightly, the character—I could be the ugly friend who scares off the men who come a callin’.
Holly had some sage advice and wisdom in the movie that stands the test of time. Here are my favorites…
Audrey Hepburn quotes: from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”—the writer being, of course, the brilliant Truman Capote and screenwriter George Axelrod:
Holly on waking up feeling rough:
Holly Golightly: “I’ve got to do something about the way I look. I mean a girl just can’t go to Sing Sing with a green face.”
Holly Golightly: “Thursday! It can’t be! It’s too gruesome!”
Holly on feeling intense fear:
Holly Golightly: “You know those days when you get the mean reds?”
Paul Varjak: “The mean reds, you mean like the blues?”
Holly Golightly: “No. The blues are because you’re getting fat and maybe it’s been raining too long, you’re just sad, that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of.”
I (Heidi) get the mean reds sometimes, and because of Holly, I know what to call them. I think of her when it happens and I feel a little less alone.
Holly Golightly: “It should take you exactly four seconds to cross from here to that door. I’ll give you two.”
Holly on owning what you do:
Holly Golightly: “What do you do, anyway?”
Paul Varjak: “I’m a writer, I guess.”
Holly Golightly: “You guess? You don’t know?”
Paul Varjak: “OK, positive statement. Ringing affirmative. I’m a writer.”
Holly on looking good to help you handle bad news:
Holly Golightly: “A girl can’t read that sort of thing without her lipstick.”
Holly on the value of being a pretty girl with a potty mouth:
Holly Golightly: “It’s useful being top banana in the shock department.”
Holly on falling for the wrong person (or animal)—
Holly Golightly: “It the mistake you always made, Doc, trying to love a wild thing.”
Holly Golightly: “You mustn’t give your heart to a wild thing. The more you do, the stronger they get, until they’re strong enough to run into the woods or fly into a tree. And then to a higher tree and then to the sky.”
*SNIFF!* *SOB!* Oh, Holly!
I read the original Truman Capote novella that the movie is based on, it’s wonderful, but Holly was blonde in it and was really kind of a call girl. I know, in the movie they tone it down.
I don’t care if Holly was a lady of the night who in modern times would’ve just been banned from advertising on Craigslist.
I don’t care one hoot, I love you, Holly. I wish you were still alive and I could Facebook friend request you and Marilyn and follow you both on Twitter.
The three of us girls would buy furniture at Ikea for our apartments, shop for all of Marilyn’s old stuff on eBay, Netfix “Some Like it Hot” and all of your movies, Gmail and Hotmail and Jet Blue for the free Terra chips until our Xboxes broke down.
It’s a beautiful dream, and I promise I will hold your hand and scare the “mean reds” monster from under your beds.
Right before we all take off our tops and have a pillow fight.
It’s useful being top banana in the shock department : )