Sabrina (1954)

Sabrina

Sabrina Movie Review

Sabrina is a 1954 romantic comedy movie directed by Billy Wilder and starring Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart and William Holden. It is a charming, albeit slight film.

The story is very clichéd and incredibly predictable. And whereas that is definitely a problem, the movie overcomes that with strong character work and some interesting choices made. For example, the conflict between the brothers for the girl is thankfully avoided here and that was a huge plus for this movie. Instead of that, we get them working together near the end and we see that David definitely cares for Linus which I loved. Those cooking classes are also very interesting and provide a lot of laughs. I liked the beginning as well and rarely do romantic comedies start off with the attempted suicide. That was an original, bold choice which I strongly appreciated.

The characters in Sabrina are, as I stated before, excellent and all of them are very likable. Sabrina is just so sweet and lovable that you can’t help but to adore her. Linus is realistic for the time period, but also quite funny and charming. And David is annoying at first, but quickly gets better and the relationship between the two is superb. The supporting characters are also fine, albeit a bit underused.

The acting is great. William Holden is so good, but Bogart surprised me as he was genuinely funny here. Although it was weird to see him in an entirely comedic and romantic role, he sold it and delivered a strong performance. Audrey Hepburn is great as usual and she is just so sweet and charming to watch. The two unfortunately lack chemistry which was definitely needed here. They are fine together, but not as strong as they should have been. It is a weird, but interesting acting duo nonetheless.

I liked the humor in Sabrina a lot. Some of it is a bit dated, but most of it is great and I laughed out loud a lot during the movie. The picture succeeds at being a rare mix of charming comedy and sweet romance which is essential for the genre and is thankfully present here in spades. The romance is really heartwarming and the film is incredibly effervescent and always beautiful to watch. And it is energetic and so modern at times which I loved.

However, the second half is quite the opposite of that. It is very slow and even a bit dull sometimes. It is also typical and predictable and lacks the humor or the heart that the first half had in spades. It really disappointed me. And the pacing is definitely weird here. But the acting is great and the directing from Billy Wilder is absolutely superb. This isn’t  one of his best works, but is still very good and one of the better films of the year.

Sabrina is technically polished with some great imagery and fantastic interiors. The costumes are also wonderful and the movie is constantly beautiful to look at. The score is really good too with some wonderful themes. I liked the dialogue a lot, but the script is nothing special as the movie is too much fluff over substance. But it is certainly memorable and is one of the most charming romantic comedies of the decade. And it evidently has a big heart with some of the scenes being so sweet and emotional, but never going into overly corny territory which is a huge accomplishment.

Sabrina is such a charming and beautiful to look at movie. It is definitely too predictable and lacks substance plus the chemistry between the duo should have been stronger, but the humor is so good, the romance is so sweet and the performances from Bogart, Holden and Hepburn are all terrific leading to a heartwarming, effervescent and an absolutely delightful romantic comedy.

My Rating – 4

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Posted in 1950s, 1954, FILM DECADES, MOVIE REVIEWS, Romantic Comedy and tagged , , , , , , .

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