The Apartment ★★★★★

“Ya know, 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.”

I don’t really think I can describe The Apartment with more than just saying I absolutely adore this movie, but I’ll share a few more words.

Much in the same way Jack Lemmon’s Baxter adores Shirley MacLaine’s Fran Kubelik, my relationship with The Apartment is filled with sheer joy.

It’s a rewarding watch on first-viewing, and with this being my second (and-a-quarter) viewing — “and-a-quarter” because I watched a good chunk of this flick on New Year’s Eve, since this is kind of a holiday film — it just gets even better. The dialogue is quippy & snappy, and there really are some genuine belly laughs to be had with this flick, as well as a few, heartfelt moments that could really put a lump in your throat. The script is truly glorious.

Jack Lemmon & Shirley MacLaine are excellent. To an extent, you fall in love a little bit with both of them — Lemmon for his lovable, but almost consistently infuriating buffoonery; and MacLaine for her unending charm and multi-layered performance.

Billy Wilder hits on almost all cylinders here. All things considered, this is a fairly modest production. A good chunk of the film takes place in… The Apartment! It’s wonderful how they take advantage of the relatively small space. Action happens in the foreground (living room), and someone else could be sleeping in the bedroom, or getting coffee from the kitchen in the background. There are a lot of generous one-takes, and it proves the wonderful, natural timing of all the actors as well as some really wonderful and gorgeous blocking.

I sincerely do love this movie, but I actually may like Some Like It Hot more, since I re-watched both this year. I’m not sure, I guess it depends on the day. The Apartment most definitely strikes a more resonant chord with me, and for that I’m very grateful. I feel like there are a lot of relatable elements, to an extent, with the various characters here. Self-worth and identity are themes that drive the plot forward, and really (and almost tragically) dictate what actions are taken. 

It’s romantic-comedy gold. This movie can hold a candle to any movie out there. It’s tough to compare movies of different genres, but this movie is one of the GOATs 🐐.

Happy belated birthday to my bud, Pete.

“That's the way it crumbles... cookie-wise.”

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