|"They say you're the world's only living heart donor."|
|Time: 127 mins.|
Genre: Romantic Comedy
To begin with, remakes rarely work for a variety of reasons. A) The story has to be updated and there are not as many restrictions today as there were in the 40's and 50's. So what may have been a barrier to love then, just isn't important now. I'm sure some wealthy families would care if a potential heir married the chauffer's daughter, but I don't think they would disown them for it as long as the potential wife or husband wasn't a complete idiot. B) Films that work have their own magic, a brew of story and talent that is hard to duplicate. In the case of this film's original version, the leads, Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart, are two of the most charismatic actors ever to grace the screen. No offense to Ford and Ormond, but they don't begin to match up.
Granted the original cannot be called great filmmaking, but at least the leads made it fun to watch. Though I love Harrison, he seemed more uncomfortable playing the older, stuffy brother in this film than he did playing a mentally challenged lawyer in REGARDING HENRY. He is a suave, action oriented man, not an uptight businessman. I never got why he would care who his brother married. He was running the business quite successfully without him. If Linus is supposed to be an unfeeling, all-about-business kind of guy, why would he want to share the power with his brother. Why not keep it all to himself? If Sabrina was an idiot or an obvious fortune-seeker I can understand why Linus would get involved. Nobody wants to have an asshole for an in-law. Granted, she's a nice, pretty girl, but I can't see why David (played by Kinnear) would be so interested when he was already engaged to an attractive, successful woman (Lauren Holly). I think Julia Ormond is a good actress, but she's no Audrey Hepburn, or Lauren Holly for that matter. She just does not have the charisma to compete with Ford and Kinnear.
In the beginning, she's this mousy girl with the dream of marrying David. To expand her experience and crush her puppy love her father sends her to photography school in Paris for a year. Upon her return, she's supposed to be this sophisticated, beautiful woman who sends the brothers into a tailspin. There is nothing about Ormond's transformation that is the least bit believable. A nice haircut and fabulous clothes may get you noticed, but they certainly wouldn't keep you in the game. I can tell you if I spent a year in Paris I would be a lot more self-possesed and worldly than Sabrina seemed to be. Did she spend the entire time in a box? She came back the same scared, naive and insecure person she was when she left. What a waste of a great city.
This girl is so obviously out of her league and head-over-heels it would take no time at all, and very little thought, to actually get her out of the picture. The fact that Ford ends up with her in the end was almost more than I could bear. Linus, even played by Ford, was not much of catch, but he certainly wouldn't fall for someone as simple as her. Don't get me wrong, I didn't hate Sabrina, she just wasn't worth all of the fuss. Much like this film. Even if you're a fan of Ford, I wouldn't rush out to see this. The only actor that was worth their salt was Kinnear, which surprised me a great deal. It was apparent that he had more talent than we knew about at the time. If you're looking for a good romantic comedy with Harrison Ford check out SIX DAYS SEVEN NIGHTS, a film that's just as improbable but at least has sexual chemistry.