Anthony's Film Review

Sabrina (1954)

Sabrina is simply sweet, funny, and delightful...

If you enjoy romantic comedies, you don't want to limit yourself to just the newest movies of the genre. You'll want to go back in time and check out some earlier hits. But when I say back in time, I don't mean just a few decades, like from the 2000s to the 1980s. I mean several more decades than that, as in all the way back to the 1950s. Yeah, that far back, because there is one film that is a classic in the eyes of many and that I would consider to be a romantic comedy like any other. I'm talking about Sabrina, the 1954 film starring Audrey Hepburn as the title character, along with Humphrey Bogart and William Holden as the two male leads and John Williams as Sabrina's father.

The setup is one that many people can relate to. Sabrina is the daughter of an English chauffeur named Thomas Fairchild, and together, they live in the servant quarters on the grounds of a wealthy estate occupied by businessman Linus Larrabee (Bogart), his playboy brother David (Holden), and their parents. Sabrina is in love with David, but she can only admire him from afar whenever a party is held at the mansion. After moments of heartbreak, Sabrina goes to a culinary school in Paris before returning home with a more positive outlook on life. And that's when she gets her chance with David, who develops a new romantic interest in Sabrina even if he is engaged to another woman.

Later, Linus spends some time with Sabrina. At first, there is no expectation for romance, in either of those characters or in anyone in the audience watching this movie. Then something happens. The normally serious all-business Linus awakens to life itself. Being holed up in his office and boardroom for so long, he experiences, perhaps for the very first time, what it's like to be with a woman. Then the big question lingers over everyone's minds. Is Linus in love with her? More importantly, does Sabrina feel the same way, and if so, how will that affect her relationship with David?

The movie is great not just because of an interesting story. It's also because the humor is delightful. While it's not the laugh-out-loud kind, at least it makes you laugh and not simply make you smile and nod only. For example, when Sabrina enters a party, her glamourous look distracts plenty of male guests in interesting ways. In another scene, David has an embarrassing accident with champagne glasses that leaves him unable to sit or even walk comfortably. Then there is the plastic that one of Linus's companies has made. It's bulletproof, fireproof, sweet like candy, and flexible yet strong so that it can support the weight of a group of people. Or even be used to make a hammock specifically designed for David's injury from the champagne glass mishap.

And then you have the performances of everyone in the cast. John Williams is memorable as Sabrina's father. So is William Holden, because he brings both charm and humor to the character of David. Still, the real stars of this movie are Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart. Their real-life personas seem to make them well-suited for the characters they play. I loved seeing each of these two stars sink into their characters, whether together in the same scene or individually in separate scenes. It's no wonder that they are Hollywood legends.

I hope all of this makes it clear why this is a romantic comedy to see. Sabrina, both the character and the movie, is simply sweet, funny, and delightful.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Sabrina, visit the Internet Movie Database.


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