Sometimes it feels like you have to get pushed around just to get by. It can be easy to get caught up in a cycle of doing one favor and then the next to the point that it seems your very job is hanging in the balance - a case in which being insufferably nice has gotten you into a situation where you are going to have to and take a stand or it is going to drain the very life out of you.
C. C. Baxter
Italian cooking, the bachelor way
seems to have gotten himself into one of these situations. He has a nice bachelor pad near Central Park that has become very popular for his superiors to drag their lusty dames to after a few stiff ones (it seems back in the day you could carry cocktails sloshing about out of the bar and all the way home! What a time! Of course this time also seems to predate sexual harassment lawsuits). When the big boss upstairs
catches wind, Baxter thinks he's in big trouble, but of course he just wants a piece for himself. Things are looking up when Baxter finally works up the nerve to ask out the cute pixie-haired elevator girl
, but she has a prior engagement with... well its best that you the reader see the answer to that question for yourselves!
The leads, Lemmon and MacLaine, truly shine in this monochrome classic, as does his kindly neighbor Dr. Dreyfuss
. There are some unexpectedly dark themes at work here for what seemed to me to be just a 50-year-old romantic comedy, but the characters do their best to hit every situation with a smile and a sharp wit whenever possible. This perhaps personifies the 1950s in a way - when looking back, its easy to see it as just a glimmering era of prosperity for post-war America, but every glimmering facade has its darker underbelly, and its nice to see Billy Wilder
address both in this brilliantly made film package.