Despite the utter predictability of the plot, "Sabrina" scores big as a romantic drama. Based on the film co-written by Hollywood legend Billy Wilder, this remake is positively delightful and is liable to send studio honchos scurrying to find other such gems in their vaults which they can repackage for modern audiences. Director Sydney Pollack ("Out of Africa") doesn't hide the screwball origins of the story but rather finds ways to texture them for a more sophisticated audience.
The Larrabees are one of the richest families in the nation, due in great part to the business sense of eldest son Linus (Harrison Ford). His mother, Maude (Nancy Marchand), still has a hand in the family business but still finds time to give the most lavish parties imaginable. At these parties, charming younger son David (Greg Kinnear) scores big with the ladies. Sabrina Fairchild (Julia Ormond), the chauffeur's shy daughter, ships off for Paris to work at Vogue magazine for a couple of years but remains infatuated with David, much to her father's (John Wood) dismay.
Upon her return, the now sophisticated Sabrina easily wins David's heart, which is unfortunate since he is already engaged to Elizabeth Tyson (Lauren Holly), a beautiful and successful pediatrician. It's unfortunate for another reason: ever since they became an item, Linus has been cooking up a merger between Larrabee Communications and the firm owned by Elizabeth's father, Patrick (Richard Crenna). Fearing that a cancelled engagement will result in a cancelled merger, Linus finds a way to sidetrack David for a few days and then attempts to turn Sabrina's affections to him.
Although the film first appears to be portraying its characters as flat stereotypes, screenwriters Barbara Benedek and David Rayfiel manage to infuse them with humanity and render them in three-dimensions. Harrison Ford, who possesses an uncanny ability to pick entertaining, high-quality movies to star in, delivers a top-notch performance, as do each member of the main and supporting casts. Because of "Sabrina", and "The American President" before it, romance is still alive at the box office.