For a movie that is based on the premise of middle aged men abusing their status and power to conduct extramarital affairs with their younger female employees, 1960’s The Apartment is a surprisingly life-affirming and uplifting film. This is in no small part due to the endearing performances by Jack Lemmon and Shirley Maclaine, and the inimitable writing and directing of Billy Wilder.
That the plot device that underpins the central romance of the story is predicated on an attempted suicide renders the film no less charming. It’s a movie of contradictions that probably shouldn’t work, but is somehow utterly brilliant and holds up incredibly well today.
Score for Christmasishness
Much of the action occurs over the Christmas period, quite a significant portion of it on Christmas Day itself and the movie concludes on New Year’s Eve. Plus there is a big sequence set at the office Christmas party. It may be more cynical than your average festive fare, but it’s no less Christmas(ish) for that.