Title: Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and the Dawn of the Modern Woman
Author: Sam Wasson
Release Date: June 22, 2010
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
In this book, Sam Wasson takes the reader through the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s from beginning to end. He shows us the entire process of making the movie, beginning with Truman Capote’s writing of the novella, through the acquisition, adaptation, and filming.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s is one of my favorite movies. Most romantic comedies I’ve seen don’t have long-term appeal, but this one is such a classic that I can watch it over and over again. Every time I do, it makes me so happy for some reason. When I heard that Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M., a sort of biography of the movie, was coming out, I immediately knew I had to read it.
I was at once thrilled and disappointed with Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. On one hand, there was a lot of great information I didn’t know in this book. It really put Audrey Hepburn and her decision to take the role into context. I also appreciated the discussion of Mickey Rooney’s Mr. Yunioshi, and how controversial he was – he’s the only aspect of the movie I abhor. Wasson did an excellent job showing the reader exactly how the Breakfast at Tiffany’s we know and love today came to the screen.
However, on the other hand, unfortunately, that’s all Sam Wasson did. There was a lot of potential with this book, to look at the greater trends and thoughts permeating through the time, as well as to truly dissect the movie’s effects. This book was very much on the surface, though. While it’s clear Wasson did interview and research those involved with the project, it seemed like he stopped there, simply translating their words for the page. I would have loved to see something a little more in-depth.
I do love Breakfast at Tiffany’s, so any tidbit I can get about it, I’ll take. As a result, I did like Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. However, I felt like there was some missed potential, as Wasson could have done a lot more with this than he did. It’s a somewhat superficial history of a movie that had a lot of impact on American culture. If you’re a fan of the movie, as I am, you’d probably like this book, but otherwise I wouldn’t recommend it.