Making the Grades
"Don't judge a man by his cover," may be the best way to modify a time worn cliche to fit the circumstance of Sabrina (Julia Ormond), the daughter of a chauffeur for the billionaire Larrabee family. She is a young girl who candidly displays the whims of romance and attraction that many of us have gone through. Sabrina offers an enjoyable experience if we are willing to see the world through her eyes. She thinks she is in love with one of the Larrabee sons, but as the years go by, Sabrina and her surrounding situation changes to the point where she ends up with the last person she ever thought she would want.
Often newer romances put too much emphasis on "covers," with physical attraction providing the initiative for two people to fall in love. Originally made into a movie in 1954, this remake of Sabrina still has qualities of many films made forty years ago when people talked more. Relationships are built around conversations, a technique that requires much more creative thinking opposed to throwing a few beautiful bodies into a scene with a popular tune playing in the background.
Only one scene in the movie has a sexual element. Desperate for companionship, Sabrina finds herself alone with a newfound friend in Paris. She follows the path of least resistance and initiates a physical relationship. Moments later, her friend detects that she is trying to solve her problems through sex, and suggests that she is better off to work them out in other ways. Not a strong statement for postponing sex until marriage, but at least it was recognized that hopping into bed doesn't solve life's problems, and even more important -- a male in a movie put his heart before hormones.
With a priority on discussing feelings and Sabrina's eventual realization that the perfect man isn't perfect, Sabrina provides positive messages to its viewers. Master director Sydney Pollack is at the helm with Harrison Ford playing the older Larrabee son, providing plenty to fill the pages of Sabrina.