Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
Germany/USA, 1995. Constellation Entertainment, Mirage Enterprises, Mont Blanc Entertainment GmbH, Paramount Pictures, Sandollar Productions, Scott Rudin Productions, Worldwide. Screenplay by Barbara Benedek, David Rayfiel, based on the earlier screenplay by Billy Wilder, Samuel A. Taylor, Ernest Lehman, from the play Sabrina Fair by Samuel A. Taylor. Cinematography by Giuseppe Rotunno. Produced by Sydney Pollack, Scott Rudin. Music by John Williams. Production Design by Brian Morris. Costume Design by Gary Jones, Ann Roth. Film Editing by Fredric Steinkamp. Academy Awards 1995. Golden Globe Awards 1995.
Remaking Billy Wilder’s 1954 comedy classic starring Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart was a bad idea in the first place, but considering the cast you’d think it could still be better. Julia Ormond aptly steps into Hepburn’s shoes as the plucky young lass who lives above the garage of her rich employers’ home and develops an infatuation with the young son of the family (Greg Kinnear) for whom her father (John Wood) is a chauffeur. She leaves for a short educational stint in Paris to forget Kinnear on her father’s advice, then returns a glamorous vixen whom no one, including the former object of her affection, can resist. Unfortunately, he’s getting married soon, and the marriage coincides with a very important deal crucial to his family’s financial well-being. To keep her from making trouble, Kinnear’s older brother Harrison Ford keeps the lady company and eventually makes himself more appealing to her than his sibling ever was. All the spark and zing that made the original so spirited and fun is gone here, replaced by director Sydney Pollack’s slow, methodical pacing that is meant to be mistaken for romanticism but is just plain boring and overlong. It also doesn’t help that Ford isn’t nearly as charismatic an actor as Pollack seems to expect him to be (see also Random Hearts).