The Apartment

How is it that neither of us had ever seen this Jack Lemmon/Shirley MacLaine comedy from 1960?  Our excuse is that the premise was laden with sexual innuendo and we were too young to be allowed to see it in a theater.   No excuse for later in life, though. Wonderful cast, impeccably shot, lovely way to spend an evening. The sexually laden premise:  lonely accountant Bud (Lemmon) “lends” his apartment for assignations to managers at the insurance company where he works in hopes that this will lead to a promotion.  Unfortunately, this generally results in poor Bud waiting outside his own apartment building in all kinds of inclement weather before each “appointment” ends.   Also at the company: Fran (MacLaine), an elevator operator that Bud has a crush on, and Sheldrake (Fred McMurray who does sleaze so well in this movie!), Bud’s boss.   Of course, Bud learns that Sheldrake is meeting Fran in his apartment, and much angst ensues as Fran finally understands that Sheldrake will never leave his wife for her, and Bud finds Fran unconscious having taken an overdose of sleeping pills.  The movie is more “dramedy” than “comedy” (and was billed as a drama/comedy back in the day) as poor Bud helps Fran recover (with the help of his friendly neighbor who completely misunderstands the situation).  The question of whether or not Fran and Bud end up together is never seriously in doubt, but the road to the end is fraught with potholes along the way (angry brother, angry wife, fired secretary).  Shirley MacLaine is utterly charming and waif-like as Fran, Jack Lemmon bumbles believably as Bud, and MacMurray is a proper cad.    We found that this movie was a critic darling and can understand why.  Our rating: Worth the Search and it’s on Amazon Prime!

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