Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Roman Holiday (1953)

“Joe, we can't go running around town with a hot princess!” 

            One of my goals in life is to travel to Italy. My art history loving heart would DIE to visit Florence and Rome. I love Renaissance art and the art of the Vatican, they are where my love for art got its start. Whenever I watch the fabulous film Roman Holiday my dreaming of Rome takes flight. I would love to be able to spend the day like Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn do wandering around Rome to whatever places on a whim and not having a care in the world.
            Hepburn is Princess Ann of an unknown European country. She is in Italy as part of a good will tour. She is a proper beautiful young woman. At the end of her long tiring day Ann has a break down, she is sick of having a schedule and having to be nice to people and have others wait on her hand and foot. She wants to go out and live and see the sites that she wants to see.
            Ann makes her escape by jumping into a truck. She is excited by what she sees in the nighttime streets. But unfortunately she is feeling the effects of the medicine the doctor gave her to make her go to sleep and she lays down on a wall. A man named Joe Bradley (Peck) comes to her rescue. Joe thinks Ann is a little drunk because she is still high off the sleeping drug and cannot keep her eyes open. He gets her in a cab and asks her where she lives but she does not say. Joe wants to get out but the cab driver will not let him leave her alone seemingly drunk in the car. So now Joe takes her to his apartment, gives her his pajamas for the night, and she sleeps in his couch.
            The next morning in the paper there is an announcement sent out by Ann’s advisors that she has come down with a sudden illness and will not be greeting the press to cover up her disappearance. Joe realizes that the princess is sleeping on his couch in his pajamas. He is a reporter so he shoots down to his office telling his boss he has a way that he can get the best scoop of Princess Ann that no one else will be able to get. Joe does not tell his boss exactly how is going about to get this scoop but with some pay negotiations he tells Joe to go ahead.
            When he gets home Ann is now fast asleep on his bed. She wakes up and freaks out not knowing where she is and especially because there is a man in the room and a man has never seen her not in a dress. After she gets ready Ann leaves but Joe follows her. She walks down the street looking into store windows and stops in front of a barber shop. Ann comes out with much shorter hair and continues enjoying her freedom.
            Ann stops for a gelati and sits down on the Spanish Steps. Joe is still following her and pretends he just casually passes her by and recognizes her. From this time to the end of the film they spend the day together having a great time traveling on a Vespa, going out dancing, and even taking an impromptu dip in the Arno. Also along for the day is Joe’s photographer friend Irving (Eddie Albert) whom he has promised to split the money with.
            At the end of the film Joe does not write up the scoop because he loves Ann.
            Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck were wonderful together. This was Hepburn’s first leading role and her big break. Actresses should only wish they had a great break out role like Hepburn’s. She was adorable and so genuine as Ann. Peck was outrageously handsome and cute as Joe. They had great such great chemistry, it was not romantic chemistry it was just a nice lovable chemistry which makes their characters that much more enjoyable to watch. Peck told the producers that Hepburn was going to win an Oscar because she was so good and that they should put her name above his and he wound up being right.
            Roman Holiday is so much fun to watch. This is one film I can watch over and over and turn into a complete girl wishing I could find a man like Joe and just have a nice carefree time wandering around Rome for the day. I would love to get a gelati and go dancing on the Arno with a handsome man! One of the reasons I love Roman Holiday is because there is no drama between the characters it is just a fun, sweet, adorable film.