Category Archives: Movies

“Borders of genders are continually resecured by media representations in response to this change (DeFransisco, 2007)(p.254).”

Holly Golightly, a character created by the infamous Truman Capote and turned into a motion picture icon, forever immortalized on the silver screen by Audrey Hepburn. In a different post, I briefly described the closing scene of Breakfast at Tiffany’s in relation to the Ten Stage Model of Relationships (Gamble, 2003). Here, I will further analyze Hepburn’s character as portrayed in the movie.

Golightly is a Manhattan party girl who gets $50 for every visit to the powder room when in the company of a gentleman and always wears a little black dress on her excursions. Overall, she makes decisions on a moment-to-moment basis, always ready for what comes next as she makes money partying with gentlemen and visiting the prison, Sing Sing. She is always on the go and is a little unstable. Golightly lives with a cat that she refuses to name because it’s too wild and free, even though he really isn’t.

Overall, Golightly could be considered one of two things: confusing in the terms of traditional gender stereotypes or modern in the terms of traditional gender stereotypes. She is confusing in the sense that she doesn’t really adhere to any of the traditional stereotypes, except maybe for being beautiful and needing to retain the beauty for party and social reasons (even then, she doesn’t make a fuss about it). This could be confusing, or fresh depending on how you look at it, if you’ve only seen one gender role for women all your live (which is possible, given the time period it came out in). She could be considered modern because she doesn’t adhere to those traditional stereotypes, as well. However, Golightly’s balance between stability and her never ending quest to be as free as she wants could be negative because of that instability. It’s also important to note the ending, where she gets together with Paul–which violates her wishes from throughout the movie to be free and “un-caged”. Essentially, I’ve just realized that Breakfast at Tiffany’s adheres to DeFransisco’s statements about how media can “resecure” traditional gender norms, even if it seems that they are being broken. The gender norm of being a woman who is unstable and too free is cut down as soon as she and Paul get together at the end of the movie because that’s precisely what he adds to the picture. The movie defies the stereotype of a typical woman then resecures that fact that women want and should be in stable relationships–after all, you want Paul and Holly to get together during the whole movie!

AH!

DeFrancisco, V., Palczewski, C. (2007). Communicating gender diversity: a critical approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.

Jurow, M., Shepard, R., & Edwards, B. (1961). Breakfast at Tiffany’s. USA: Paramount Pictures.

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“The initiating stage is the stage of superficial, casual interaction that is designed to start person-to-person contact and establish a connection between people (Gamble, 2003).”

There’s a scene in The Holiday starring Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet that I always thought was interesting. I immediately thought of it when going over the Ten Stage Model of Relationships on page 169 of the text. The idea behind the model is that there’s different levels and stages in relationships that men and women go through with their partner (Gamble 2003)–however, that does not mean that each couple will go through every stage in the ten stage model, maybe just a couple. The “Meet Cute” reminds me of stage one of the relationship model, “Initiating”. Please refer to this quote page in order to get an understanding of what I’m talking about. For the sake of the blog, I’ll also post the specific quote I’m referring to.

Say a man and a woman both need something to sleep in and both go to the same men’s pajama department. The man says to the salesman, “I just need bottoms,” and the woman says, “I just need a top.” They look at each other and that’s the ‘meet cute.’ (Block, 2006).”

After the man and woman initially meet, they’ll have to communicate with one another and (especially in a Hollywood movie, but not necessarily in real life) they’ll fall in love. That’s how romantic comedies work.

After thinking of this movie clip for stage one, I started thinking of other movie examples to fit some of the other ten stages. Stage 10, “Terminating”, can be exemplified with the movie The Breakup–which is, in fact, about a breakup. Here, you can see that both of the main characters are fighting. I do believe that this scene takes places after the initial breakup. Not all relationships work out, and this one obviously didn’t either (Gamble, 2003).

Stage 3 can be exemplified with the last scene of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. At first, Holly is indifferent to Paul’s feelings, but he keeps confessing his love for her in the cab. Finally, Holly lets Paul into her heart through that tough exterior, and they get together–she doesn’t go to Brazil.

Block, B., Meyers, N. (2006). The Holiday. USA: Columbia Pictures.

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.

Jurow, M., Shepard, R., & Edwards, B. (1961). Breakfast at Tiffany’s. USA: Paramount Pictures.

Stuber, S., Vaughn, V., & Reed, P. (2006). The Holiday. USA: Universal Pictures.