Roman Holiday

An enchanting real-life fairy tale, as light as a drift of marshmallow fluff, about a runaway princess and an American newspaper reporter, and their day of playing hooky in Rome; a Rome which is so thoroughly a part of this story that it might as well be one of the supporting actors. This was Audrey Hepburn’s breakout movie role, and one is also charmed to learn from the extras that she was as gracious, loyal and endearing to everyone she worked with, as was the character she played: Princess Ann, of some unspecified European country, on a state visit/good-will tour of post World War II Europe. Isolated by the requirements of her position, bored beyond tears, and chaperoned every minute of every waking day, Princess Ann impulsively flies the luxuriously gilded coop of her country’s embassy in Rome late one night. She is discovered almost asleep on a park bench by a raffish American newspaper reporter Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck). Being also one of nature’s gentlemen, he assumes she is inebriated and takes her to his artistically disarranged little garret of a place. Once he realizes who she is, he has plans for the scoop of a lifetime… until he finds himself falling for her.

Part of the undeniable charm of this movie is the fact that it shows us a past that is nearly out of reach: a past where motor-traffic meant a flock of Vespa scooters, and a working newspaperman would never be seen not wearing a tie. It is a world which pre-dated the paparazzi, ruthlessly pursuing celebrities twenty-four seven. One could barely imagine a newspaper reporter and his photographer friend being so gallant today – even if the princess and the reporter did manage to fall into love. A bittersweet ending; when the two almost-lovers part after their delirious, carefree glimpse of love in the shadows of the eternal city.

Of the extras, the most interesting is “Rome with a Princess” – a modern day look at the various authentic locations used, and a retrospective of Audrey Hepburn’s career at Paramount studios.

Roman Holiday is available through Amazon.com and at other retail outlets.

Sgt. Mom is a free-lance writer and member of the Independent Authors Guild who lives in San Antonio and blogs at The Daily Brief. Her current book “To Truckee’s Trail” is available here. Her latest book project, the “Adelsverein Trilogy” is being released this month. More about her books is at her website www.celiahayes.com.

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