I have only recently become acquainted with the work of Jack Lemmon. Oh I’d heard about some of his movies like The Odd Couple and Grumpy Old Men but I’d never seen them. (My association with The Odd Couple being the 1970s TV series starring Jack Klugman and Tony Randall.)
My first viewing was The Apartment at a gorgeous art deco cinema, The Rex in Berkhamsted. Similar to my beloved local, The Phoenix, the grandeur of the auditorium fitted the same sense of occasion as when movies began by telling you right up front who was in it and what it was called. But I digress.
The Apartment stars Lemmon with youthful Shirley MacLaine. Lemmon is the employee put-upon by the powers that be at work in return for a boost up the corporate ladder. Things get complex when MacLaine becomes an ‘apartment’ girl and falls off the pedestal that Lemmon has adoringly placed her on. It turns out in the end but not before some pretty grim soul-searching.
In mentioning my lack of Lemmon to my movie friend, she immediately loaned me Some Like It Hot, starring Lemmon alongside Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe. This is a lighter affair, full of naughtiness and high jinx and Lemmon’s turn as Daphne gets him into all sorts of trouble. It all works out at the end again (as most Marilyn Monroe movies do).
By then I’d found myself completely under Lemmon’s spell. You see I’d become rather partial to that cheeky grin, the twinkling eyes, the earnestness. Although he does look a little too good as a woman for my liking! There’s obviously a few more movies to see and I’m wondering whether Lemmon was always cast as the hapless but endearing charmer. I guess I will have to find out.
Not that I’m complaining.
Lemmon may just have become my new favourite flavour.
And you can never have too much of a good thing.