A while ago Ruth from Flixchatter celebrated the birth of (one of) her favorite actors that has graced the screen, Gregory Peck. She advised me to watch Roman Holiday, which is one of her favorites (you can read here why she loves it so much). So I bought the DVD and, as it goes when you have so many movies you want to watch, it took a while for me to get around to seeing it. So what are my thoughts on this modern fairytale?
Fairytales often star princesses and this movie has a stunning one in the form of Audrey Hepburn. This was the first movie I saw her in and she has an enchanting screen presence, partly of course because she plays a princess with beautiful clothes and perfect hair. Her character has a very busy schedule each day and is getting sick of doing it, not being able to go out when she wants to, to gain some life experience. On a visit to Rome she decides to sneak out to have an adventure. Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) is a journalist looking for a news story and runs into her, not knowing who she is. He tries to give her money to get home, but she doesn’t want to say where that is. Joe decides to take her home, for her own safety, to let her sleep off whatever has gotten into her. The next day she wants to see the city and do things she normally can’t, while Joe finds out who she really is. He sees a chance for a news story and exclusive insight into her life. With his secret agenda in the back of his head he decides to show her the city.
Having visited the city myself, it was nice to see what it was like when this movie was shot. Most movies were not shot on location, but Roman Holiday was one of the first exceptions. It adds a lot to this movie as it captures the atmosphere of the city, which you can’t recreate in a studio. Listening to the DVD extras I found out that Gregory Peck was so impressed by Hepburn’s performance that he insisted her name would be up on the titles. He wasn’t the only one who was impressed as Hepburn earned an Oscar for her role.
Roman Holiday is a great romantic comedy. It has lots of innocence, charm, great performances and a stunning background to all of this. The thing which I also liked was the ending, which was different from what I expected. I now understand RUth’s love for it and can recommend it to others.