The Apartment (1960)

The cynicism of non-color cinema shocks me. For some cultural vs. nurtural reasons, I was raised to believe that cynicism is the 90s’ estate. It had never occured beforehand, and most certainly not in times where girls wore blue shorts in the Kibbutz and had their hair braided with ribbons.

I’ve only ever watched 2 full episodes of Mad Men. Everything is a remix, I now understand where Mad Men went digging (script-wise, creative-wise and otherwise-wise).

The Apartment is the American dream. You get ahead by being took. You get ahead on the expense of your private life. You get ahead when there’s nothing to get ahead for. It’s a no-man’s land out there: you either take or being took and in a way – you’re doomed to be both.

The Apartment tells the story of C.C Baxter (‘buddy-boy’, played by Jack Lemmon). Buddy-boy is a wonderful employee, he doesn’t drop the pencil at 5.20, he stays long hours at the office. Only the reason is not his diligence, but the fact that he rents out his apartment to faulty co-workers on a nightly basis.  Baxter falls for Fran, Mrs. Kubelik, the elevator girl, who’s (sadly enough) in a nightly relationship with Mr. Baxter’s boss, Mr. Sheldrake.

The uncanny resemblance of Fran’s broken mirror (or as she says: ‘Makes me look the way I feel’) to the mirror left in Buddy-boy’s apartment opens our three-way story. After Mr. Sheldrake brings Fran to the apartment for the second time, at Christmas eve, and offers her  100$ in cash, Fran tries to commit suicide by swallowing about a dozen of sleeping pills.

Buddy finds her in his apartment, calls his Jewish (yet white-meat eating) doctor neighbor, Dr. Dreyfuss. From there on, it’s only a matter of time until Fran will realize Baxter is the right guy for her. Only she doesn’t. In a great dialogue between Fran (Played by Shirley McClane) and Baxter, Fran wonders:  ‘how long it takes to get someone you’re stuck on out of your system. They should invent a pump for that.’

I loved the sincere dialogues, the honesty of this movie. Its simplicity. Cookie-wise.

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