Sabrina While she was growing up, Sabrina Fairchild spent more time perched in a tree watching the Larrabee family than she ever did on solid ground. As the chauffeur’s daughter on their lavish Long Island estate, Sabrina was invisible behind the branches, but she knew them all below… There is Maude Larrabee, the modern matriarch of the Larrabee Corporation; Linus Larrabee, the serious older son who expanded a successful family business into the world’s largest communications company; and David, the handsome, fun-loving Larrabee, who was the center of Sabrina’s world until she was shipped off to Paris. After two years on the staff of Vogue magazine, Sabrina has returned to the Larrabee estate but now she has blossomed into a beautiful and sophisticated woman. And she’s standing in the way of a billion dollar deal.
A romantic comedy doesn’t get better than this
I saw the original Sabrina before ever seeing the remake. I adored Audrey Hepburn in all of her movies, and this was not an exception. Her comedic timing was perfect. She was completely believable as a young ingenue, and of course, she would not be Audrey Hepburn if she weren’t absolutely breakthtaking on screen. But while I enjoyed the original, I have seen it only once, whereas I have seen the remake so many times I have lost count!
The 1995 Sabrina is a gem of a film. I keep hearing myself describe it as funny, but sometimes I wonder if that’s even the right word. That’s because except for that rather unexpected burst of laughter from Linus’ secretary, which cracks me up EVERY time I get to that part, I have never found myself laughing aloud while watching this movie. But the humor is so cleverly written, it is impossible to ignore just how charming and comical this movie is.
The script is wonderfully brought to life by the outstanding cast. Harrison Ford is superb as Linus Larrabee. He plays Linus as a serious and almost ruthless businessman, and yet gains our sympathy as he gradually shows a tender and vulnerable side to Linus’ cool exterior. Greg Kinnear is well-cast as Linus’ dish of a younger brother, David. True, David is self-centered, careless, and carefree. But Greg Kinnear plays him with utter charm that we understand why Sabrina and women in general are so taken with him. And what of Julia Ormond? Well, I think she was absolutely perfect as Sabrina. If she had felt any trepidation essaying the role that had been so closely identified with an icon like Audrey Hepburn, none of her nerves translated on to the screen. She IS Sabrina. I think it’s a wonderful combination of her beauty and acting skills that helped her succeed in this role. The sincerity of her performance makes Sabrina so appealing and completely lovable.
The performances of the three leads are complemented by a fine supporting cast made up of John Wood, Nancy Marchand, Dana Ivey, Richard Crenna, and Angie Dickinson. Some of the film’s funniest moments involve their characters. And then there is the exquisite soundtrack composed by John Williams. The score is at once dreamy and intoxicating. Two songs that were written for the movie, “(In the) Moonlight” and “How Can I Remember?”, are just as memorable and perfectly capture the feelings of romance and longing.
Hollywood has made a number of successful romantic movies, and I think Sabrina ranks as one of its best. Its charm never wears off. It sweeps you off your feet and makes your heart soar. It is a marvelous, marvelous film!