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Crazy About Tiffany's


Stars: Featured in newsreels: Judy Garland, Clark Gable. Featured in film clips: Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Patrick Dempsey, Reese Witherspoon Singing: Elaine Stritch (Ladies Who Lunch)

Director: Matthew Miele

Nowadays product placement is endemic in movies. Remember 007’s recent outings? Seen all those Vaio computers that appear in Sony films?

Mind you, product placement is nothing new, simply one more aspect of picture financing.

Minis costarred with Michael Caine in The Italian Job, apparently James Dean’s use of a certain comb in East of Eden was a hair-raising sales success, Hershey made waves in E.T., playing the candy that lured the extraterrestrial, and Heineken joined Craig in Skyfall. Etc, etc, etc ad nauseam.

Indeed, this week alone Coca Cola got a plug in Independence Day: Resurgence while Dr Pepper costarred with Elvis and Nixon.

Well, that’s more than enough product placement for this review.

I only mention the subject because the title of Matthew Miele’s well-photographed (cinematographer/editor Justin Bare) documentary sums up its basic form – it’s essentially glossy product placement masquerading as a movie about the world famous (thanks largely to Audrey Hepburn) jewelry company.

Charles Lewis Tiffany and John B Young founded the store in 1837. The former has to be admired since, the film informs us, we’re told that the former never missed a days work, even walking to work through winter snow to serve one customer who spent 80 cents.

We learn how Tiffany’s came up with their unique and ubiquitous Tiffany blue (robin’s egg blue with green undertones should you need to adjust the image when the film reaches its natural home in a late, late night slot on television).

Everyone who has paid, or intends to buy, an engagement ring will doubtless be delighted to learn that Tiffany is credited with introducing this particular line in loving jewelry and we are shown a ring that cost more than $1 million.

Just a tad expensive, perhaps, even for a footballer’s wife?

Hollywood stars and lesser notable notables turn up to offer their comments. They include Fran Liebowitz, director Rob Marshall, Sam Taylor Johnson (can we expect ‘Fifty Shades of Blue' next?) and Baz Luhrmann whose version of The Great Gatsby was decorated with Tiffany’s.

More of the Great and Greater turn up in newsreel excerpts – in 1945 MGM paid for a wedding present for Judy Garland - while Clark Gable and other show- business types including Jessica Biel put over their plugs with style.

The film clips on show are the most enjoyable aspect, among them George Clooney and Julia Roberts in Ocean’s 11 and Sweet Home Alabama. For me the most interesting excerpt was a brief slice of Scorsese’s 1966 documentary New York City … Melting Point.

TV clips, including Sex and the City and Friends, also get a showing. Vital for Jennifer Aniston completists?

Naturally the film that features the most is Breakfast at Tiffany’s which, although an obvious example of product placement, at least made the store an integral part of the narrative.

(Oddly though, given the film features a display of watches created by Tiffany's for various American Presidents, there was no clip from Elvis & Nixon).

Alan Frank

USA 2016. UK Distributor: Dogwoof. Colour.
87 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 23 Jun 2016