1961 romantic comedy, directed by Blake Edwards and starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard based on Truman Capote's novella.
Hepburn plays Holly Golightly who at first appears to be little more than an airheaded, jet-setting socialite, but as the film progresses, we see more of the pain and loss that have led to her current lifestyle. She has low self-esteem and a sordid background, and she surrounds herself with bright, showy things to give herself comfort, like a magpie. She's a phony, but, in the words of a supporting character, she's a "real" phony.
George Peppard plays struggling author Paul Varjak, who Holly refers to, throughout the film, as "Fred" because he reminds her of her brother, who is in the army
The film opens with Holly as she window shops her way through Manhattan. Paul, an author with a bad case of writer's block, is the new tenant in her building. The two meet on the morning Paul moves in, when he drops by to use Holly's phone. Soon after, they become friends. She inspires him to start writing again. And, they spend one memorable day on the town together doing things that they have never done, such as shopping at Tiffany's (new for him) and checking out a book from a library (new for her).
Inevitably, things grow deeper than friendship, but, when Paul tells Holly he loves her, she pushes him away. She has decided to marry a rich South American, to support herself and her brother, whose tour of duty in the army is nearly over. But Paul doesn't give up.
Holly and Paul are both slightly shady characters. Holly takes a weekly payment of $100 to visit a mob boss in prison and carry a verbal message to his "lawyer", a kind of no-sex prostitution to finance her dilletante lifestyle. Paul is what is politely called a "kept man". His lover, a rich woman with a much older husband pays for his apartment and leaves gifts of money after her visits.
Despite the faults and hard edges of the characters, Breakfast at Tiffany's is primarily a fantasy. There is an unreal atmosphere that portrays a fictional world, where Mafia dons are nice people, disappointed suitors are graceful, and improbable lovers can live happily ever after against the odds. The dreaminess is perfectly reflected by Hepburn's wistful performance of Henry Mancini's Moon River.
One of the cleverest asides of the film is the way it shows time passing. In the first street scene we hear a piano playing scales badly through an open window. The same piano plays in every street scene thereafter, growing better all the time.
Sharper-edged than most romantic comedies, and much more upfront than most films of the early 60's (it pulls no punches about the fact that Paul's secondary career is as a gigolo), Breakfast at Tiffany's nonetheless has a fairytale ending to please any dyed-in-the-wool romantic.