“Mildred! He’s at it again!”Review by Lewis Goodall
I’m starting to tell people that I’ve fallen in love, they ask who she is and they seem pretty confused when I tell them her name is ‘The Apartment’.
This 1960 Romantic Comedy directed by the masterful Billy Wilder brings all the emotions the human can experience and blends it all into this 2 hour long masterpiece. The story follows C.C. Baxter (Played by the amazing Jack Lemmon), an employee at an insurance company who rises through the ranks by allowing the executives of the company to take their lady friends for a bit of bump and grind in his apartment. Baxter finds himself chasing for the promotions in the company whilst at the same time chasing the heart of a friendly elevator girl, Fran ( Played by Shirley Maclaine). Complications arise when the director of the company, Mr Sheldrake (Played by Fred MacMurray) catches whiff of Baxter’s rendezvous apartment and wants in and wants to take his bit on the side there, only to find out that this bit on the side is Fran the elevator after girl that Baxter shares affection for. Baxter from there must decide which pursuit he desires most, to climb the corporate ladder or the girl of his dreams.
For an example of how much I enjoyed this film, I watched it one night, I’m writing this review the day after and im currently watching it again. It manages to cram so much into the 2 hour run time yet never feels crowded. Not at any point can you drift away from it’s incredibly written story, every single piece fits together so beautifully that you can tell Billy Wilder put everything into this film. The screenplay which was done by Billy and his writing partner, I.A.L Diamond is so naturally written where all the characters are so individual and make the story all that more enjoyable to watch. The pacing of the story is slow to give you the chance to get yourself invested in the characters to make the overall experience more personal. It’s a lost art with filmmaking these days. Back in ye olde black and white films such as this, I always feel that films will spend more time putting their time and effort into the story rather than the production of their films like they do nowadays. A film doesn’t need a big budget to make it an instant success, putting love into the film you are making shows and will stay forever. You can really tell this with Billy Wilder, you see it in this film and you also see it in ‘Some like it hot’ (which is also a film that has a permanent imprint on my heart). Both these films are effortlessly made to hit you right in the heart with the romance side and hit you right in the ribs with the comedy side. Also they both include Jack Lemmon and he’s perfect in both.
Leading man Jack Lemmon plays the lovable bachelor so incredibly to make him such an enjoyable character to watch throughout the whole movie. Flitting between emotions on the fly, switching from comedic to serious in a heartbeat was just done so crisply. The rest of the cast are brilliant as well, all the way down to the Jewish neighbours next door who provide beautiful crispy roast potato performances and one of my favourite quotes in the whole film which i used for the title of this review. Each character had their moments to shine in their own way, whether the decision they made was good or bad, it was believable and made the story come together as a whole.
There was no force for a comic relief like most films nowadays, they all had their moments or effortless comedy genius.
The humour is woven into the story so perfectly. It’s like those stitching/sewing videos where they have a creative way to stitch up a hole or tear in a t shirt and they somehow manage to do it to make it barely noticeable but it holds it all together like glue. None of the humour in this film is wasted, what I mean by that is with comedy in films, usually most of the jokes land but you’ll always get one that you’ll get but wont make you laugh, 90% hit, 10% miss. Obviously this depends on the film and the percentage can be 0% hit and 100% miss if it’s a Netflix original film. But no punchlines are just through away comedy, the small innuendos to the physical comedy, it all hits. This film doesn’t overcrowd the film with jokes which I felt worked great in conjunction with the drama aspects of the film, neither was overpowering the other, it has just the right amount of both.
As well as making me laugh out loud, this film pretty much made me complete the emotions bingo. I laughed, it made me happy, it made me sad, it made me scared, I panicked. It was a story that I feel can resonate with a lot of people and it certainly resonated with me. Yet another film that made me tear up at the end, this is happening to often these days and I’m getting freaked out a bit.
Overall I honestly cant think of anything I didn’t like about this film, nothing even technical I would have any problem with, it was shot beautifully, its edited well, the music in the film is so recognisable that it will flash up happy memories in my mind whenever I hear it because it will remind me of how perfect this film is. I feel like in gonna do, I feel like this film Is gonna go on the exclusive list of films I would consider……. I’m gonna do it.