Breakfast at Tiffany's: Romance Addiction at Its Best


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This might be highly controversial and I might end up losing a couple followers over this one, but I have to say that I could hardly bear watching Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) yesterday until I started looking at it from a research perspective. I have an article coming out this summer in the academic journal Stance: For the Family dealing with romance addiction; therefore, the topic has been weighing on my mind. I promise I am not nuts, well, not entirely.



I got the movie for Mother's Day from my darling autistic daughter and I was very enthusiastic about watching it since I could not recall anything about the film except for the love I have for Audrey Hepburn (she is FABULOUS in My Fair Lady) and classic films. As the movie began and the famous storefront window scene unfolded, I was ecstatic. I now own a copy of Breakfast at Tiffany's! Then, I watched it for awhile longer and the gorgeous fashions of the day popped like eye candy and the gorgeous people were gorgeous. I simply ADORE the outrageously delicious jewelry, hats, and dresses.

Then it started to sink in for me—Audrey, or shall I say Holly Golightly, displayed several key behaviors belonging to the romance addict.

You might say, "well, what about these behaviors?" Well, it is complicated. I own this fabulous book called Escape from Intimacy by Anne Wilson Schaef that goes into detail about romance addiction symptoms, as well as sex and relationship addictions. I cite it in my article that is up for publication this summer, too. So for the sake of brevity, I would like to share a quote from Escape from Intimacy to pointedly illustrate my connection between Miss Golightly and the romance addict:

"Since romance addicts also believe that they are not enough no matter what they do, they have to make themselves artificial and set up artificial situations to try to meet their needs" (69).

If you notice, Holly is a self-creation from the real Lulamae who ran from her reality. This countrygirl lives larger than life, throwing parties, changing her appearance and apartment when a new relationship presents itself, mixing herself up with mobsters, etc. It is absolutely incredible to witness how quickly the plot (and stylish outfits) shifts with her moods.

One more testimony to the fact that Holly has a problem comes out of the mouth of O.J. Berman:   "She's a real phony.  You know why?  Because she honestly believes all this phony junk that she believes." And what he just said sums up the romance addict in one simple oxymoron:  a real phony.

The end of this film is a happy one, highly romantic at that, except there isn't a sequel showing us if she was able to actually hang onto her new reality and stay there: for the long haul of real life. Movies do not typically do that, but it would be interesting to see what a healed, real Holly would look like.

If you want to understand more about this barely understood form of insanity, you will want to read my article when it gets into print and check out Schaef's book at the library after that. Both are promising reads.


2 comments:

  1. This post is very...you. Just the way it should be. ;)

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  2. i count it as a prequel to my article...hopefully the article won't disappoint!

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