The Apartment

Warning: contains spoilers. The Apartment is a classic movie about a pencil pusher who lets executives at his company use his apartment for trysts, in exchange for a fast-track up the corporate ladder. He falls in love with the current mistress of a company VP, who is, coincidentally, using his apartment to hook up with her. It's a tribute to the idea that you don't need a complex plot or special effects to produce a wonderful film. In my summary of Breakfast at Tiffany's last year, I noted that Audrey Hepburn's character only started to like George Peppard's character once he rejected her. In a slight twist, Shirley MacLaine's character only starts to like Jack Lemmon when he turns down the VP's request for his apartment, and quits his job instead. Which is, to be frank, the first alpha-male move he's made all movie. MacLaine leaves the VP and heads to his apartment. And then you get this scene, culminating in one of the most famous lines in moviedom: Lemmon throws away all of his alpha status by proclaiming his love for MacLaine. She's obviously aware of this, and also put off, which is why she tells him to "Shut up and deal." This is code-speak for "Stop cloying, if you keep it up I'm really going to regret my decision to be with you." This is reminiscent of an earlier scene in the movie, when Lemmon actually forgives MacLaine for standing him up, and MacLaine rebukes him for doing so. Total post-movie relationship time: Unless Lemmon starts acting like she should be grateful for the chance to date him, and not the other way around, I'd give it about a week. (As a side note, Fred MacMurray's character is a master of reframing. MacLaine attempts suicide after he doesn't show her enough affection, and in their first conversation after she recovers, he says something to the effect of, "How could you be so silly? You should apologize to me for giving me such a scare." Maybe 1% of guys would ever think to say that and 0.1% would have the guts to pull it off.) George Peppard-Jack-Lemmon role that you see in Breakfast at Tiffany's and The Apartment, where the cloying lead character gets the girl anyway, is not one that you see much nowadays.

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