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Roman Holiday

Worth the Buy

Paramount Centennial Collection Scores Again

December 2, 2008
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A few years back, a friend made a wise observation that has since stuck with me. He alluded to the fact that we often have the foolish desire to want to step into someone else’s shoes, but we don’t necessarily want all the wardrobe that accompanies the said shoes. In essence, one part of someone’s life may seem picture-perfect, glamorous, or in some regard better than our own, but there are inevitably difficulties in everyone’s life… at least on this side of heaven.

Roman Holiday, a Paramount movie classic from 1953, provides a charming exploration of the idea that the “grass is always greener” in someone else’s yard. Audrey Hepburn, in her Oscar -winning performance as Princess Ann, escapes her royal entanglements and takes a Roman holiday as a “commoner.” She meets an American journalist (Gregory Peck) and his photographer (Eddie Albert), and the trio have one mishap and adventure after another.

Amidst the sparkling dialogue and comedic scooter jaunts, some notable themes emerge. One theme that resonated with me was that of responsibility. Our modern society often seems to promote the shifting of responsibility… we often want someone else to take on a role, or we will place blame on those who we perceive to have failed at a role that should have been our own. Roman Holiday subtly poses the idea that perhaps we have been fashioned for a particular role and have the responsibility to be ethical and sacrificial in fulfilling it. I think of the passages of Scripture which reveal us as different parts of a common body, each fulfilling his/her own role for the common good, and more importantly for the glory of the head, which is Christ. And on a regular basis, we too, need to step out of our own shoes and take a “Holiday” to see with renewed vision who we were fashioned to be.

The Centennial Collection Edition of Roman Holiday is worth the buy for the restored film alone. Disc two’s special features are a great bonus! Hepburn fans, especially, will love the featurettes, including “Audrey Hepburn: The Paramount Years,” “Remembering Audrey,” and “Rome with a Princess.” There is a ton of great footage from Paramount as well as interview time with Audrey’s son, Sean Ferrer.


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