Daryl Wein’s Something from Tiffany’s, with a screenplay from Tamara Chestna, is also one such story, with arguably a decent premise. Based on the novel of the same name by Melissa Hill, it follows the lives of two couples, as they get entangled in a classic holiday mix-up. Ethan (Kendrick Sampson), a widower living with his daughter Daisy (Leah Jeffries), buys his girlfriend Venessa (Shay Mitchell) an engagement ring, while tattoo artist Gary (Ray Nicholson) buys his girlfriend Rachel Meyer, a baker (Zoey Deutch) a pair of earrings for their anniversary.
After both men step out of Tiffany’s, Gary is hit by a car. Ethan rushes to help, and in the commotion that ensues, their presents get innocently exchanged. When Rachel opens her present and assumes Gary is proposing to her, Gary, perplexed at first, does not make an effort to correct the mistake. Ethan realizes pretty quickly what may have happened (he is a creative writing professor at UCLA), and he takes it upon himself to straighten things out. Everything seems to go according to the plan until he meets Rachel… and an unexplained attraction between the two starts to surface.
Even though the actors are effortless playing the roles (especially Zoey), the conversations between them… not so much. It’s evident that Rachel and Gary have problems, but what is not evident is why Rachel and Ethan start to seem flat even after the story picks up. Dialogues like, “Maybe you need to start doing things with your heart, not your head” leave us wanting to say the least.
A little more background into the lives of Ethan and Venessa would have accentuated their need to be with other people. Similarly, Rachel has a better relationship with her bread (she talks to her ingredients) than she does with Gary. Her character is brilliantly built for a spin-off, with a Julie Powell-like passion for cooking, and a breath-of-fresh-air kindness. It’s unfortunately wasted in a traditional rom-com when it can stand on its own. Terri and Daisy do add spice to the film, and Terri’s effortless representation as Rachel’s queer and Black best friend is not half-bad.
All said and done, the music is Christmasy, Rachel’s outfits are lovely, and so is New York, but the connection stops there. Amidst long pauses and uncomfortable silences between characters, the film fails to permanently tattoo itself onto the hearts of the viewers.
Something from Tiffany’s is currently streaming on Amazon Prime