As the holiday season is approaching us, we either have the choice to watch the latest Harry Potter movie, or something classic and timeless such as Billy Wilder’s “The Apartment“.
Jack Lemmon, Shirley McClain, Billy Wilder : a Trio you can’t go wrong with
‘The Apartment” is entertainment in its classiest form. This movie could be described as a romantic comedy, but I don’t think they make romantic comedies like this anymore. The routine life of Bud Baxter, an average office drudge at an Insurance Company in New York, interrupted by the odd request of his married bosses and managers who want to use his lonely apartment as a place of rendezvous with their mistresses.
As he scarifies his own comfort and shelter (sleeping in the street even), the bosses promote “buddy boy” to higher ranks and better offices on a daily basis, till he finds out that a girl he likes at the office is among those mistresses who pay a visit to his apartment.
The above story-line could be deemed simple, but Wilder and his unbelievable cast of actors make an unforgettable classic out of that.
Acting/Directing at its Best
I’ve always deemed Jack Lemmon a genius, from “the Apartment” to ” Prisoner of Second Avenue” to his later years ” Grumpy Old Men” he was funny without trying to be so. Him catching a cold from sleeping in the streets so his bosses can have their rendezvous, and the next day going to the big boss’s office to give him the key, and get a promotion with that awful cold, is one of the funniest scenes I have ever seen.
The situation gets even more out of hand, when all the neighbors of Baxter think it is indeed him who brings different women to his place every night, and shake their heads with disgust every time they see the poor office clerk.
I wish we had more actors like him and Walter Matthau today, guess they don’t make them like them anymore in this day and age, and being talented got nothing to do with becoming successful at what you do.
Shirley McClain’s portrayal of Fran Kubelik a hopeless romantic deeply in love with her married boss is also worthy of mention and praise. Her famous dialogue from this movie :” You should never wear mascara if you’re in love with a married a man,” and her sad eyes while saying is unforgettable and lovely.
I don’t think anyone disagrees with me when I declare Billy Wilder one of the heavyweights of Hollywood industry, from “Sunset Blvd.” to Witness for the Prosecution and ” Apartment” he entertained cinema goers without ever presenting them a cheap scene, dialogue or cinematography technique.
So if you get sick of Christmas at some point (and you will get sick of Christmas), instead of thinking about killing yourself (yep, the rate of suicide goes sky high at Christmas), go sit beside your lover, ma’, dad or granny and watch this timeless classic, I’m positive that you’re gonna thank me for this suggestion.