This movie is all about Audrey Hepburn, and I guess a little bit about Rome. It was her first starring role, she won the Oscar for it, and if ever a debut film simply glowed with incipient star power, it’s this one. Her waif-like beauty is damn near perfect. It’s a great tragedy that she was taken from us at the relatively young age of 64, without a chance to perform some of the elder roles I’m sure she could have handled as well as she did kookie romance and comedy and drama.
Looking into her life story, thinking about writing this review, I learned some things I hadn’t know. The biggest was that her father was a rabid British Fascist. She was in Holland when the fucking Nazis invaded, and like all the Dutch people, suffered great privations. She spoke five languages! And this whole review could be about her … because though it’s a nice little movie about mistaken identity, other than her performance I didn’t think there was much special about it. Oh, yes, it was shot entirely on location in Rome, something that was still rare for American films in the fifties. Okay, and it’s also rare to have such a charming romance where the man and the woman cannot somehow get together at the end. The poor, dutiful little princess must return to her boring duties and probably marry some hare-lipped bleeder from another royal family. Normally my sympathies for the travails of the ultra rich are quite limited, but Audrey made me feel for her predicament.
Actually, it sounds like I just convinced myself that there was more to the movie than I had thought. It’s not bad, actually.