The Apartment

The Apartment ★★★★½

The Apartment is American comedy classic at its finest. With its perfect cast, twisty story, and abundant heart and soul, it's without a doubt a blast to sit through and a timeless reminder as to why Jack Lemmon is still one of the greatest actors ever.

The Apartment tells the highly absurd story of a corporate employee, Baxter, who lends out his apartment to his cheating co-workers in exchange for promotions, only to have his master plan shattered when he finds out that one of the mistresses happens to be his love interest. The Apartment probably owes its huge success mainly to the magnificent cast, led by a hilariously charming Jack Lemmon, whose portrait of the equal parts timid and righteous Baxter remains one of the most iconic and memorable characters in cinema history. Other cast members were all impressive enough to give this story a glow of warmth and humanity, even for the supporting ones who only had several minutes of screen time. Thanks to Wilder’s astonishingly witty writing and intricate character building, The Apartment managed to break from the homogeneous romantic comedy tropes of its time, and created its own magical blueprint for the future generations of filmmakers to imitate or be inspired.

At heart, The Apartment is a moral dilemma wrapped in a heartfelt love story. It's largely gleeful with its tonal consistency, even during its darker segments. I may prefer it to end 2 minutes, or even 10 minutes earlier, so as to leave a little bit of tragic edge and more open spaces for the audience to ponder on instead of spelling everything out, but it's probably just me asking for too much, considering The Apartment is already by itself a near perfect masterpiece. Highly recommended.

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