It’s hard to believe this movie was controversial, but it was. It dealt with adultery and fornication without really disapproving of them. Most critics loved it, but a stupid few dismissed it as a “dirty movie.” My, my, how far we have come. It still holds up pretty well, despite being quite dated by the revolution in mores that got started shortly after it was made. Jack Lemmon turns in his usual brilliant comic performance, as a schnook (as everyone calls him) who loans his apartment to the executives above him at a gigantic insurance company, who are predatory philanderers to a man, so they can rendezvous with their various girlfriends without the indignity and expense of a hotel room. Naturally they all take advantage of him until he grows a pair, quits his job, and lives happily ever after with Shirley MacLaine.
I’ve got a lot of respect for Shirley MacLaine, despite her being a whacko in her personal life. None of my business, right? It was interesting to watch this, five years into her long career, having just seen her latest movie, Bernie, just a few nights before. She was so young! Now, over fifty years later, she doesn’t look so good, but what I like is that she’s like Bette Davis, she’s not worried about not looking good. She’s happy to take the old lady parts, she just likes to work. She doesn’t mind not having top billing, she just looks for juicy parts, even supporting roles. She has no less than seven movies in pre-, post-, or actual production for 2012 and 2013.