I’ve never been particularly fond of Audrey Hepburn, or her films. She’s cute, lovely to watch on screen, but I find her a bit too dainty and delicate for my tastes. Perhaps I’ve simply not seen the right films to think higher of her as an actress.Roman Holiday I found to be no different than any other film I’ve seen her in: light, fun fare with a beautiful face in the foreground playing up the melodrama in the manner she does best. I think her charm is what won her the Oscar that year, as her performance did not seem horribly substantial in my mind. All Audrey fans, please refrain from tossing rotten food, I mean no harm.
Gregory Peck I found to be as wholly charming as Hepburn, but again, I wasn’t overly floored by the performance. He wasn’t particularly funny, and his frequent physical gags with poor Eddie Albert just seemed desperate. But as a dashing leading man, he would sure induce swoons, if not by his piercing eyes, then by his smoldering voice.
Hepburn was charming, I cannot deny this. But her performance was far more akin to a thin Pizzella than a hearty Bolognese dish, in my mind: lovely, light fare, highly enjoyable, but lacking any real density, gravity or substance. It left me hungry for more, to play on the Italian food theme.
I liked it, but I did not love it. Seems my opinion of this Hepburn is staying quite true to form.
Interestingly enough, according to the IMDB trivia page the nobility in the opening scene, as well as all the press in the final scene, were all real members of the Italian nobility and press. Their salaries from the film were all donated to charity. Furthermore, this was the first American film every shot entirely in Italy. Just a couple of fun facts about the film.
This post was originally published on my tumblr on December 4, 2011.