For the next Hopeful Romantic movie review, I reach back to the 1954 version of Sabrina. It stars Audrey Hepburn as Sabrina, and Humphrey Bogart and William Holden as the well-to-do brothers Linus and David Larrabee. I certainly hope everyone has seen this movie, but if not, please stop reading and go out and rent or buy it immediately, as I will include many spoilers in my review.
Sabrina is the daughter of Linus’s chauffeur and grew up around the Larrabees, falling in love with David along the way. David is somewhat of a playboy, falling in and out of love with every girl that comes along – and has had three failed marriages to boot! Sabrina witnesses David from afar, and fantasizes about being one of those girls that David falls for. In this respect, Sabrina is very much a hopeless romantic – she has fallen in love with David in a completely one-sided affair.
After realizing that David won’t give her any romantic attention, Sabrina runs off to culinary school in Paris. During her exile, she learns a bit about herself and high society, changing her looks and demeanor to someone that can gain the attention of David. She returns, but there is only one problem – David is engaged to someone else.
Not even recognizing Sabrina at first, David picks Sabrina up from the train station to drive her home… his home, in fact. Well, he soon figures out this is the same girl that he grew up around, but how has she changed! So much, in fact, that he now wants to call off his pre-arranged engagement to run off with the chauffeur’s daughter.
Linus, the brains behind the Larrabee empire, is about to see his multi-million dollar deal go out the window if David runs off with Sabrina. So he intervenes, trying to “keep it all in the family”. He entertains Sabrina after he incapacitates his brother, trying to get her to fall in love with him instead. He feigns wanting to get away from the boardroom and to run off to Paris to experience the city. And he convinces Sabrina that he wants her to come with him. And the hopeless romantic that Sabrina is, she falls for him. And just when Linus almost has her convinced of their budding love (and has her booked on a one way ticket back to Paris), Linus drops the truth of his whole charade.
For the Hopeful Romantics out there, this seems like an awful lot of deceit, with an extra dose of falling in love too soon. And indeed it is. But there are some shining points in this story.
- Sabrina figures out how to gain David’s attention. Simply fawning over him and expressing her one-sided crush isn’t enough. She had to go to Paris and become a whole new person – new clothes, new attitude, new haircut, etc. The lesson here is that if you are attracted to someone (or a certain type of someone), you’ve got to look the part. And Sabrina does that transformation exceptionally well.
- A funny thing happened to Sabrina and Linus both. While they were out on the town while David was holed up, they connected. Perhaps a little too quickly for Hopeful Romantics like us, but nonetheless they connected. Sabrina was eager to go to Paris with him and show him around, and Linus was honest enough to admit to his deception. Excitement and honesty are two solid ways to start a relationship.
- At the end, David realizes his foolishness and tries to set things right. He doesn’t know if his brother was really faking it with Sabrina, or if Linus fell for her too. So he eggs Linus on, essentially calling Sabrina a gold digger. Boom! Linus punches David right in the kisser. At that point, Linus realizes how much he likes (loves?) Sabrina and runs off to catch her on the boat to Paris.
Sometimes, even Hopeful Romantics need friends and family to help us realize how we truly feel about someone or what we should do in a given situation. And it is our responsibility as Hopeful Romantics to help out our friends and family when they need a little encouragement to head down the right path with (or without) someone.
So the moral of the story is, don’t fall in love too soon. And if you do, at least have the good fortune of it being Humphrey Bogart’s character.