“She’s fair game, Joe. It’s always open season on princesses.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Such quibbles must ultimately be left aside, however, given that Hepburn is so luminous and appealing it’s difficult to turn our eyes away from her. (No wonder a generation of young woman wanted to BE her!) From the moment we first see her Princess Ann waiting to greet an endless line of well-wishers, trying to get more comfortable by discretely slipping a foot out of its high-heeled slipper, she can’t help winning our hearts — therefore, we’re genuinely thrilled for her as she explores the streets of Rome, experiencing such simple pleasures as getting a short haircut, eating an ice cream cone on the Spanish Steps, and being “offered” a bouquet of flowers by a vendor. While Hepburn’s the undeniable star here, Peck is nicely cast as the journalist who can’t help falling for his “subject”, and Eddie Albert is excellent as his photographer buddy. Meanwhile, the streets and sites of Rome are a spectacle unto themselves, making this film a bit of a “Roman holiday” for viewers as well.
Note: As pointed out by DVD Savant, the story is surprisingly free of any kind of an overt social “message”, given that it was scripted by blacklisted Dalton Trumbo (whose ghostwriter, Ian McClellan Hunter, won an Oscar on his behalf).
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)