Alternate title: How normal people watch Breakfast at Tiffany's vs. How crazy cat ladies watch Breakfast at Tiffany's. (Also please be aware this post contains spoilers!)
Breakfast at Tiffany's was on tv last week, and so I watched it for the bazillionth time, as usual. However, during this particular viewing I realized something that I hadn't before. I could care less if Audrey and George Peppard end up together at the end. To me, the film reaches its emotional climax not because George and Audrey embrace, but because they have Cat between them.
From the moment that the cab scene starts, my stomach is filled with wasps. I know that any moment she'll be tossing Cat out into the rain. When Cat grabs onto the car, trying desperately and hopelessly to stay in the warm dry cab, the tears start to flow. I don't think I've ever really paid attention to any dialogue that occurs after Cat is thrown out, because I'm screaming at my tv "STOP THE CAR! YOU NEED TO SAVE CAT!" If I could, I'd jump into my tv and look for him myself.
If I have one of my cats nearby whilst watching, they are at this point being hugged tightly while I anxiously await the moment when Cat is found.
Normal people are relieved when Audrey shows up in the alley calling for her cat -- but not for the same reasons I am. They believe she's seen the error of her ways; she's going to let George love her; a happy ending is on the horizon for our newly minted couple. But for me, and crazy cat ladies across the globe, it's ALL ABOUT THE CAT.
Honestly, this is the whole movie. Holly's husband, brother, fiance? All totally inconsequential to Breakfast at Tiffany's. It's about the cat. Sally Tomato, the 5 and dime robbery, Patricia Neal? They mean squat. It's all about the cat. It's all just leading up to that one super-charged emotional moment when Audrey scoops Cat up in her arms and gives her a "I should never have tossed you out of the cab, you wonderful feline" gigantic smooshy hug.
And THAT makes it a happy ending. George could have slipped and fell in the rain, got hit by a cab and ended up in the ER right before the credits rolled. As long as Cat is out of the rain, and reunited with Audrey Hepburn, I'm a happy camper.
This post was originally published on my movie blog, Silents & Talkies.