What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this screen classic features an attempted suicide via pill overdose and a few other suicide tries (or actions that are mistaken for suicide tries) more or less played for laughs. The main focus of the plotline is sex and adulterous affairs -- but in keeping with censorship of the era, it's lots of carefully-coded talk. Nothing explicit is shown. There are, however, intervals of heavy drinking and smoking. It will be an uphill battle getting some younger viewers who can't tolerate anything not in color to sit still and watch this talky dramedy.
- Families can talk about the choices C.C. makes. How realistic is his behavior in the end? What would you do if you were in C.C.'s shoes?
- Ask if the script still has relevance today, in a modern climate of movies like American Pie -- a Hollywood in which a character who refuses to help his buddies "score" and/or cheat on their girlfriends would probably be considered a total jerk. Does The Apartment still mean as much as it once did?
- Discuss how the movie revolves around sex without showing any. Everyone keeps his or her clothes on, and there are hardly any rude words in the sharp dialogue. Would The Apartment have been as effective if the talent had brought out the full arsenal of nudity, swearing, bathroom humor, and all the other benefits of modern R and NC-17-ratings?