May 24, 2010

The Apartment

Still trying to let go and move on... by finishing some drafts left hanging. God I can't believe it's over only a few hours have past and I miss the show already ah damn.

The Apartment (1960)

Directed by Billy Wilder. Starring Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray.

Long story short: A man lets his company executives use his apartment for secret meetings with their lovers, and is promised promotions in return. Then he falls in love himself.

As I'm sure I've mentioned before, I annoyingly often get bored by old films, so I don't dare watch them too much. This little film showed that I should take my chances more often, because sometimes the old classics turn out to be very delightful.

Jack Lemmon - best known for his hilarious role in Some Like It Hot - plays C.C. Baxter, the leading character of The Apartment. He's pretty much an Everyman, working in a company alongside of (approximately) five trillion other people, living in a modest little apartment (which he quite rarely gets to use himself, though), dreaming of love and better tomorrow and trying to calm down his wild reputation amongst his neighbours. I like Jack Lemmon. He's very likable and so is his character. And you just feel sorry for him for being bossed around by the horny silly executives. Like that scene where he's trying to find a convenient evening for everyone and fit them all in his schedule - which I'm sure has no other notes whatsoever. Poor man!

I liked his love interest, too! She was refreshingly tomboy-ish, not-Marilyn-Monroe-type-silly-blondie, a bit cynical (for understandable reasons), but still bright, funny and likable. Speaking of Marilyn Monroe...  Billy Wilder, the director, had previously worked with Monroe twice, and (quote from IMDb) "grew to despise her demands for star treatment and her poor work ethic". And well, in The Apartment there's one minor character, some brainless party girl, described to look like Marilyn Monroe. Ha. I thought that was quite funny. But well, I hope Wilder didn't feel too bad about his little mockery after Monroe died two years later...

The film was very funny at times, but not exactly the feel-good film of the century. It had very dark elements, too. And there really is something very charming about black-and-white films! - when they're not thoroughly boring, I mean.

Hmm. This is the reason I tend to write about the films straight after seeing them... I'm not sure if I've forgotten something less or more important. Ah! One more thing. Once again, like in Some Like It Hot, a superb final line! Endings and beginnings always matter a great deal to me. (...Which reminded me of Lost, so I'll just stop here and sink back into the bittersweet feeling of combined gladness and sadness and nostalgia. Cheerio.)

"I used to live like Robinson Crusoe. I mean, shipwrecked among 8 million people. And then one day I saw a footprint in the sand, and there you were." 

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