The Apartment ★★★★½

“I like it that way, it makes me look the way I feel”

While I can enjoy all sorts of comedy, this brand of sardonic humor, that laughs along with the pain of living, rather than through its absence or lightening, is my cup of tea. 

Great framing, and great composition within movement. The camera will move, and they’ll make a great frame out of that. The camera will sit, and the movement of the characters within it will make for a great shot. 

The characterization is so interesting, walking a delicate line where nobody’s quite a caricature of a bad guy, even if plenty do bad things. Even the protagonist is a troubled figure,  sleaze adjacent and enabling, for quite a long time in the film.

Jack Lemmon has such a physical performance that it’s constantly entertaining to watch, but everyone’s firing off pretty well. Shirley MacLaine cuts an endearing heroine. Fred MacMurray plays a smooth talking corporate cad pretty damn well, and a lot of the meanness of it all comes from how banal he can play it. 

I was hoping for a White Nights ending, but I like what we got. 

Postnotes:

Man, looking up her insurance card is creepy as hell. 

I feel like we lost a lot of poetry in the move to dialogue that attempts to appear closer to reality. As annoyingly idiosyncratic as they can get, I like Sorkin and Tarantino for avoiding that. 

Between this and Sweet Charity, Shirley MacLaine’s cinematic love life is depressing. 

Distinctly urban. It’s not the only one, but the Christmas Eve bar scene is such a perfect distillation of a lonesome bar night in the city. The bit about not eating alone is also great, I was even eating dinner as I watched, doing much the same. 



I love the absolute disrespect for corporations on display here. Social climbing matters more than actual work. The first youngest exec has family ties. The second is our protagonist. Upper management are lecherous lizards. When our protagonist actually tries to work hard, the uppers laugh. The authority of the upper management apparatchiks is largely absolute. 

Reminds me of Albert Brooks’ movies. As well as a general forerunner for the yuppie anxiety flick.


I’ll orobsbly rewatcha few times just to, aside from the excellency of the movie, focus even more on how well it captures city life and it’s loneliness, love, and also make more fun of companies. I’d do it now, but the words don’t come to mind, and I already delayed logging this.

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