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For the first time in a long time I decided to watch Roman Holiday. I know that there are a lot of people out there saying, but there are a thousand reviews of that old movie, why are you talking about it now? And the answer is simply because I feel that there are aspects of this movie that are brilliantly done that are often overlooked in today’s Hollywood climate.
Recently, I’ve gone to so many “blockbuster” movies only to come out of the theater utterly disappointed in the lack of plot and likeable characters. I find myself being overwhelmed with special effects and computer graphics that say nothing more than “look what I can do.” The characters and story often become secondary to these tactics, and I found myself longing for more.
While watching Roman Holiday, I immediately found myself drawn in by Gregory Peck’s and Audrey Hepburn’s performances and how the story was so richly textured and character driven that I did exactly what you’re supposed to in a movie: I get lost in that world. I was emotionally invested in these characters and their experiences.
Everything in the movie, from costumes to the on-location filming to the decision to make the movie in black and white was done to enhance the story, not overpower it. This was the kind of movie magic that allowed stars like Peck and Hepburn to shine as the brilliant actors they were, and it is sad to me that so very few of these movies seem to be made anymore.