Appreciating Audrey

My best friend Mia and I had just shared a particularly rejuvenating (read: sweaty) mid-afternoon yoga class, and were searching for the best place to show off our new bodies. Enter, the local coffee shop. We were ready. With Mia in her crop top and me in my Birkenstocks, we were about to zen out all over the local downtown cafe. Until, I realized I didn’t have my wallet. By the time we stopped at my house to grab it and got back into the car, the easy parking access of the Starbucks in the stripmall down the road won our hearts. 

Five minutes later, drinks in hand, we figured we’d sit outside and enjoy the fresh summer weather to try and revive the cool post-yoga vibes. Unfortunately, good weather for sipping tea also meant good weather for the construction workers to kick it in to high gear just around the corner. We switched tables to something further from the area in turmoil but couldn’t even take any sips from our drinks before moving back inside the Starbucks, where Michael Bublé’s soothing ballads set a much pleasanter mood. 

We jumped right in to the small talk basics, comparing to do lists and nightmare fragments. We were just about finished with our drinks, in other words very well primed for conversation, as we reached our social media notes and Mia insisted I watch Fashion Film, her recent Vimeo discovery. It wouldn’t load very much, [insert free Wifi shade here], but just the first line, “when I’m alone, I like to pretend I’m in a movie” was enough to spiral us into a caffeine-driven conversation about our own irrationally passionate actress worship. 

Mia, future fashion designer, current New York art school student, structure loving, invisible hem sewing Mia immediately began swooning over Audrey Hepburn, specifically her Roman Holiday incarnation, but before she could reach Holly Golightly I cut in with my disdain for the cult that surrounds all things Audrey Hepburn. I said maybe it was the petite frame, or maybe it was my inability to disassociate her accent from the street child Eliza Dolittle in My Fair Lady, but I had never really been able to relate to Audrey. In fact, I was always a bit jealous that Gregory Peck had fallen in love with her in Roman Holiday, come to think of it.

I felt the evil of my words as soon as they left my mouth, but the caffeine empowered me to continue the argument nevertheless. Outraged, Mia demanded to know who my icon was then. Which of course got me very descriptive about the way Grace Kelly says “tomahto juice” in High Society. And then who could forget her utter sophistication in Rear Window. I was sure this was unchallengeable. Turns outMia finds her awfully dull, I was so noticeably flabbergasted that all we could do was laugh and leave the conversation at a draw. 

Until the next day, when I was searching Netflix for a good accompaniment to some closet cleaning and Sabrina, starring none other than Miss A. Hepburn herself, came up. Interest piqued, I clicked play and was instantly hooked. Where had this movie been all my life? The music, the romantic Humphrey Bogart, the Givenchy, the parties, the comedic ensemble, it was everything I love in a movie. I watched Funny Face to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. Fred Astaire, modern art, beatnik cafes, fashion magazines, cheesy dance scenes. Another winner. I hated to admit it, but Audrey wasn’t as awful as I had contented. In fact, she was so un-awful outside of Breakfast at TIffany’s that I wanted more. Charade is next up on my Netflix queue. 

Blushing cheeks and all, I composed a remorseful text to Mia renouncing my attacks on Audrey, but ever more fervently  asserted my love for Grace and insisting Mia investigate more movies as I had. 

It was a valuable lesson kids. Never judge an actress by their cult incarnation.

It begs the question… what other icons do I need to be more educated about?