Dir: Wyllyam Wyler
Starring: Audrey Hepburn, Greg Peck
I was expecting a sloppy, sweeping romantic drama from Roman Holiday. What I got was quite different.
Roman Holiday is actually about three people who have a great time together for one day in Rome. The characters and their relationships are built up in a very constructive way. If you didn't feel that the characters had become so close and so understanding of each others situation, the ending would be unsatisfying. As it stands, this was one of the best and most surprising endings I've seen since 1952.
The same can't be said for Notting Hill, which clearly based itself on Roman Holiday. The thing I hate about Notting Hill, apart from the cheerful ending, is... well... Julia Roberts, for one. Her character has no appeal and no class wahtsoever. Also, Notting Hill seems to think that the physical act of making love is the key point - the grand, orchestral strings kick in, like their night together defines the relationship. That's lust, not love.
Roman Holiday, on the other hand, gets it all right. The two characters just want to use each other at first, but eventually find there's a lot more to it. It defines everything good about being in love, having friends, and, er, being a princess.
Hazzah for Audrey Hepburn, humanitarian, modern beauty, and great actress. Hazzah for Rome, city of history, grandeur, and romance. Hazzah for the immpecable cast and powerful script. Again, hazzah!