Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Day One Hundred and Eighty-four - Sabrina, "Audrey is beautiful as always, but I just don't feel any chemistry with Bogey."

As much as I like the idea of Audrey breaking down convention and chasing after the man she loves in spite of class difference, I just really can't get behind any of these relationships.

Set in the post-war boom where Bogey and William Holden are the brothers Linus and David (respectively) who are heirs to a great corporate legacy, Audrey plays the chauffeur's daughter, Sabrina, who is madly in love with the playboy David but eventually falls for Linus' stoicism.

It's hard to get behind these characters and their shipping due to the simple fact that David is an utter cad and Linus just can't sell that he has a soul. Oh, sure, Bogey is every bit the gung-ho capitalist who cares nothing for money and is all about productivity for progress' sake, but from the moment he actually tries to falsely woo Hepburn's Sabrina, I just can't believe a single moment of it.

Whether it's his confession of suicidal thoughts or his choice during the climax to tell Sabrina the unvarnished truth, Linus is as thoroughly fake a character as I've ever seen Bogart play.

Maybe it's just the lack of chemistry, as even Audrey's charm wasn't enough to convince me, or maybe its the generation gap, but I was completely unable to suspend my disbelief. Honestly, the only true moment that I felt between them was when Sabrina almost attempted suicide herself in the garage. At least, back then before her life-altering trip to Paris, they weren't trying to scam each other... but that's because their lives didn't depend on getting something from the other.

It's also hard to enjoy the despicable, mercenary attitude of the family. Sure, it's to be expected, but the way the first half of the film tries to make the Larabees come across as progressive and magnanimous, filled to the brim with noblesse oblige, mostly due to Linus' speech on the greater good of capitalism, it feels a bit disingenuous for them to try and shuffle Sabrina off (or just fire her father as the family Patriarch desires).

I do love Audrey (as most people do) for her beauty, wit, and charm... and similarly I'm a huge fan of Bogey both for African Queen and Casablanca, but Sabrina, for all its status as a classic, has no magic aside from the plastic allure of its leads and their reputation. The film, itself, isn't worth the effort.

Quick shout-out to John Williams who plays Sabrina's father. While I much prefer him as the insurance investigator in To Catch A Thief, his spots (while minor) were nice.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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