First of all, I must say that I am a fan of Audrey Hepburn, and although I would never be crazy about the idea of a remake of one of her most famous films, I must say that although I regard Sabrina highly, I thought it would have been a better movie to remake than others like Roman Holiday or Breakfast at Tiffany’s, if not for nothing else, because this film is iconic but with a less notorious plot than other ones, but also because in all honesty, there were aspects in the original movie that weren’t all too perfect. In fact, one of the things I always think about when I think about the original Sabrina is that the casting was not too appropriate, but when you have two of the most iconic actors to ever grace the silver screen playing the lead characters, two actors like Humphrey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn whose legacy is so important, it still makes up for an interesting watch at the very least (what I mean by unappropriate casting is that I always thought that Bogart was too old to play the Linus character, and Hepburn falling in love with him just didn’t look like a good idea to me), as well as a guy like William Holden in the supporting role of David.
Well, in this film, you got Harrison Ford playing the cranky man who apparently shows no love, the only living heart donor. And I might as well say it now, so that I can get it over with, Julia Ormond is the girl that dares to step inside the shoes of a character that was once played by Audrey Hepburn. If anything, I have got to say that it’s Pollock who gets cheesy and overdoes it at the start, when it seems he is trying to cram as many Hepburn tributes as he can. The thing is that, I can admire Ormond’s performance as Sabrina in this movie, if not for nothing else, because the legacy of Hepburn is so important and highly regarded that it takes a lot of courage to want to fill the shoes of one of her characters. All in all, Ford and Ormond aren’t too bad. Ford looks the part, and I marvel at the way that he can play a hottie in one movie, and the next an average looking guy (although still Ormond dares to say that he is not handsome, or at least not as handsome as his brother David, played by Greg Kinnear). Ormond is very pretty once she gets the hair cut, her beauty is believable. None of the performances are brilliant, hardly Oscar worthy performances I mean, but the one on one encounters between Ford and Ormond are pretty good, in fact probably the only bits one can call interesting in this movie, as the two share an interesting chemistry together, although always distant and in some cases much too cold (which was a problem in the original movie too, and that must be said, although there was a different feeling as well in the original movie, and that was the mysterious feeling that perhaps was the only thing that saved an otherwide mis-casting of Humphrey Bogart).
There are changes from the original. Sabrina does not aim to become a chef, but a photographer. And the sequence when she goes to France is a lot longer, in fact much too long. If I were to pinpoint the worst moment in the movie I would say that it is every Paris scene in the movie. They are awkward, cheesy, and something that we have seen so many times before. Those scenes to nothing to make us sympathise with he character of Sabrina, or to connect us with her in any way. I also despise the way in which Sabrina changes so much just by getting a haircut and losing the glasses, it’s such a terribly Hollywood thing to do, it gave me the creeps. The film also sure takes its time in getting a story started, and to top all that, there are serious problems with the pacing of the movie. The film also always remains quite distant and we never know who is supposed to be exactly the main character, because even Sabrina gets an equal amount of time as Linus, yet I would say that Linus appears to be even more the main character than Sabrina.
There is nothing remarkable about this movie, it also gets obnoxious because the ending is built up terribly and in the end, the whole movie looks more like Pretty Woman than the Billy Wilder original movie.
WATCH FOR THE MOMENT – When David runs into Sabrina but does not recognise her, whereas Linus recognises her right away.