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AN UGLY DUCKLING HAVING UNDERGONE A REMARKABLE CHANGE, STILL HARBORS FEELINGS FOR HER CRUSH: A CAREFREE PLAYBOY, BUT NOT BEFORE HIS BUSINESS-FOCUSED BROTHER HAS SOMETHING TO SAY ABOUT IT.
Julia Ormond faced one of the great challenges of her career when she tried to re-create Audrey Hepburn's title role in the 1995 remake of 1954's Sabrina. Happily, Ormond performed admirably, and while she may not have the same gamine charm of Hepburn, she makes the role her own. In fact, her transformation from mousy girl to sophisticated young woman is actually more dramatic in this updated version. The basic plot is the same--chauffeur's daughter falls in love with the son of the rich household, only to be wooed away by the older brother for business purposes--but it has been entertainingly modernized: The head of the Larrabee household is the strong matriarch Nancy Marchand; Sabrina goes to Paris to work with a photographer instead of going to cooking school although that means the wonderful "new egg" scene of the original had to be ditched; David's Greg Kinnear character has been toned down and made more sympathetic; and Humphrey Bogart's revolutionary plastic has become the flattest TV screen ever made. Lauren Holly does a fine job playing Elizabeth Tyson, David's fiancée. If you watch this for its own worth--instead of comparing it to the original--this will prove to be a terrific lighthearted romantic comedy. --Jenny Brown