IKER (iker) wrote in billy_wilder,

The apartment

I came to this film expecting a light hearted romantic comedy. Watching the trailer did nothing to eliminate this idea. The actual film is hardly light hearted, and is really rather sad, and dramatic.

The set up is fairly antiquated, and somewhat sexist. Jack Lemmon plays CC Baxter, a quiet gentleman working as a small cog in a very big insurance company. He also happens to have a very spacious apartment to himself. Word gets around the office about the apartment and Baxter’s agreement to not be home on certain nights. Soon enough every male executive in the office is hitting him for use of the apartment for evening trysts.

Though modern audiences probably grimace at such a concept, it is pulled off quite well. For the most part, the comedy remains intact. When I said that it isn’t a comedy, I don’t mean that there isn’t lots of humor to be found. It’s just that the drama is more involved than what we typical consider to be comedy. There are some truly funny scenes one of which has Baxter getting out his apartment planner, rescheduling several visits from the office men. In my favorite scene, he cooks pasta with a tennis racket.

The conflict of the film involves one of the top executives of the office, Mr. Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray) and a fun loving elevator operator Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLain). When Sheldrake begins using the apartment to rekindle his affair with Kubelik, he promotes Baxter at the office, to keep him satisfied. Not knowing that Kubelik is Sheldrake’s love interest, Baxter begins courting her himself.
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