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The Audrey Hepburn Story

Could anything sound more ludicrous than a TV biopic about one of the silver screen's classiest stars enacted by one of Fox television's prime teen weepie queens? The surprise in The Audrey Hepburn Story is that Jennifer Love Hewitt does a creditable job as the legendary Hepburn. In fact, if you close your eyes, she sounds shockingly like Hepburn — she has that vaguely upper-crust, pseudo-English accent down pat. But being plainer and more American-cute than Continentally elegant, Hewitt just doesn't look much like the star, and the performance happens to be a snowjob. The Audrey Hepburn Story is not a trashography, it is a celebration of Hepburn's life. And no other option seems possible, given Hepburn's service late in her life to the United Nations and other humanitarian organizations. Nor does Hepburn's life merit a trashing. The only dark aspect was her affair with a heavily smitten William Holden during the filming of Sabrina, although the film makes pains to assert that Hepburn most assuredly did not have an affair with the (still living) Gregory Peck during the shooting of Roman Holiday. The truth can be hard to know, and The Audrey Hepburn Story loses some credability when Hewitt goes up to the wrong window at Tiffany's (during the famous scene from Breakfast at Tiffany's), as well as when she finds her cat on the wrong side of the alley at the film's end. Originally a Canadian production by Robert Greenwald, the king of the TV movie biopic (and a sovereignty not worth ruling), there's a four-hour version of The Audrey Hepburn Story that was made for foreign distribution and a three-hour version made for ABC-TV. Columbia TriStar's 131-minute DVD comes in a digitally remastered, anamorphic 1.85:1 presentation, with audio in English, and English, French, and Spanish subtitles. Trailers, keep-case.
—Kerry Fall

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