Harrison Ford, Julia Ormond, Greg Kinnear, Nancy Marchand
All through Sabrina, director Sydney Pollack’s stylish, entertaining remake of Billy Wilder’s 1954 comedy I was reminded of the famous exchange, possibly apocryphal, between F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. Fitzgerald: “The rich are different from you and me.” Hemingway: “Yes, they have more money.” There are rich folks aplenty here, and Sabrina is actually fond of these unfortunate misunderstood creatures.
Which is probably why the movie plays so much like a fairy tale. There’s the hard-driving mogul (Ford who barks “I just don’t feel like buying any more netWorks this year There’s never anything good on “) his playboy brother (Kinnear see page 53) and their businesswoman mom (Marchand) The Cinderella stand-in is the chauffeur’s mousy daughter (Ormond), who moons over Kinnear. He’s oblivious to her until, while visiting Paris, she learns a thing or two about a good haircut. He then falls hard, but a disapproving Ford intercedes, courting Ormond himself to distract her from his bro. Guess who ends up falling in love?
This Sabrina, in many ways, improves upon the ’54 film, particularly in the casting of Ford, who is far better suited to the role than Humphrey Bogart, who seemed as comfortable playing an uptight tycoon pitching woo as a beagle doing the watusi. It is Ormond, lovely though she is, who has the thankless job of stepping into the slippers of Audrey Hepburn at her most enchanting. You wanted always to pull Hepburn to your heart, but chilly Ormond seems almost to be clutching a tiny stop sign. (PG)