Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

This is getting classified as “The Movie is Better” but honestly, I can’t decide which version I prefer. Because I am indecisive, let’s make lists.

Reasons The Movie Is Better:
-Audrey Hepburn plays a considerably less racist and foul-mouthed Holly, which is nice. But let’s be honest: Holly could spend the entire movie snorting crack off a sidewalk and Audrey Hepburn would make it the most elegant and classy crack-snorting anyone had ever seen.
-Holly actually sets foot inside Tiffany’s, instead of just talking about it. Also she is seen eating breakfast outside the store, instead of just mentioning it offhandedly.
-The lines, “It’s useful being top banana in the shock department” and “I don’t want you to take me home until I’m very drunk. Very drunk indeed.”
-A happy, schmoopy, formulaic romantic ending in the rain that never fails to win me over. And they come back for Cat.
-George Peppard.

Reasons The Book Is Better:
-Mag Wildwood, a mere caricature in the movie, gets more lines, personality, and scenes in the book.
-Holly is eighteen at the beginning of the story, which makes her instantly more of a badass teen slut, and I admired her for this.
-The landlord Mr. Yunioshi actually has a sizable shred of dignity and is vital to the plot. This did wonders to undo the damage caused by the sight of a sweaty, overtanned, bucktoothed Mickey Rooney leaning over a banister in the movie version and screeching, “Missa Gorightry! I musta plotest!”

(how did anyone decide that was a good idea, anyway? I imagine a lot of Hollywood executives thumbing through the book and saying, “so we have this Asian character, he’s one of the most sensible characters in the story, but all Asians are hilarious, so let’s make him comic relief. Someone get Mickey Rooney on the phone and ask him if he can do a Ching Chong accent!” and then they smoked a lot and molested a secretary because it was the 60’s. I’ve seen Mad Men.)

Anyway, the bottom line is that the book made me sad, and the movie does not. Both are very good.

Verdict: three out of five stars

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