It’s time again for Catie Rhodes and I to break down another cinematic original and its remake. Sticking with our usual ways, Catie reviews the original and I take on the remake. This month we tackle the classic romantic comedy, Sabrina.
Usually, I include Catie’s Homemade Summary that applies to both films. But this time, I tweaked it just a bit:
The super-rich Larrabee brothers of New York couldn’t be more different. David Larrabee is a playboy and a womanizer. Linus Larrabee is a workaholic. They both find themselves under the spell of Sabrina, daughter of the family’s chauffeur, who has recently returned from a fashion internship in Paris sexy and sophisticated.
Before I begin, let me just say why I chose the remake. Regardless of how ashamed I am to admit it, I usually choose the newer versions because I have not seen the originals. But, that is not the case today. Everyone, hold on to your hats, but I’ve actually seen the 1954 classic Sabrina starring Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, and William Holden. I know, shocker. In all honesty, if the film’s role of Sabrina Fairchild wasn’t played by the iconic Audrey Hepburn, I probably wouldn’t have watched it. But it did, and I did, and I loved it.
For years, seventeen years to be exact, I avoided the 1995 remake of Sabrina… not because I wasn’t interested in the story, but because I enjoyed the original so much. So, when Catie proposed we add these films to our Original versus Remake series, for once I had actually hoped I could review the original. But, considering Catie and I have a nice flow with her covering the originals and me taking on the remakes, we stuck to our established game plan.
So, here we are, December 2012, and I have finally watched the 1995 remake of the classic. The stories are quite similar, the one exception being that Sabrina (Julia Ormond) travels to Paris for a fashion internship at Vogue instead of culinary school like Ms. Hepburn’s character.
Sabrina has loved the younger and carefree David Larrabee (Greg Kinnear) for as long as she can remember, but she is almost invisible to him. After she returns from Paris a transformed woman, David’s pending marriage to the perfect woman (Elizabeth Tyson, played by Lauren Holly) is threatened when he finally notices Sabrina. Not wanting to see the potential business partnership between the Larrabee and Tyson families go up in smoke, David’s older and more responsible brother, Linus (Harrison Ford), steps in and distracts Sabrina and David. What started out as just a job turns into something more—Linus actually falls in love with her… and Sabrina with him.
Catie shocked me with the trivial fact that Cary Grant was considered for the role of Linus… the role that Humphrey Bogart landed. So, I did a little digging of my own and learned some interesting facts myself:
The character of David Larrabee was Greg Kinnear’s first “major” role, but like most acting jobs in Hollywood he was not the only candidate—Tom Cruise was also considered.
And how about Sabrina? While I believe Ms. Ormond gave a fabOoolous performance, just look at this list of actresses considered at one time or another for the Cinderella-type role: Winona Ryder, Demi Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robin Wright, Cameron Diaz, and Sandra Bullock. Now that’s competition…
I don’t normally watch romantic comedies. I prefer action, adventure, dark and raunchy comedy, and horror over romantic comedies. Who knows? Maybe I’m not a “typical” girl; after all, I live and breathe sports. Regardless, the 1995 film did not disappoint; however, I do believe I still prefer the original. I mean, it’s Audrey Hepburn… c’mon.
What do you think? Have you seen either the original or the remake of Sabrina? If you’ve seen both, which do you prefer and why? If you haven’t, do you want to? I’d love to hear from you!
Remember to stop by Catie’s blog discussing the original if you haven’t already.