Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine) was an interesting character. In an
odd twist of the at-work mistress, Fran the elevator girl was
actually in love with her boss, rather than just sleeping with him
for career advancement or executive perks. She was even willing to
believe that he and his wife were getting a divorce, even though he
had no such intention at all. I believe that she wasn't actually in
love with him, rather he simply treated her well while others brushed
her aside, and she wasn't used to such flattering attention. However,
she couldn't see he was being kind only for his own gain. It was only
until Baxter showed up that she was confronted with a decision, as
both treated her well, although for different reasons. Her boss for
lust, Baxter for love. When a person falls into darker times, the
sort of warm attention that her boss offered would be an attractive
offer. However, the kind of love she was expecting from her boss was
not there, but rather the quiet Baxter, whom I doubt she even
expected due to his shyness.
I thought an interesting scene was when Baxter (Jack Lemmon)
refused to let his boss (Fred MacMurray) use his apartment anymore.
He knew he would lose his job, but he felt Ms. Kubelik was worth it.
It took a lot of confidence in himself to know that he would be able
to make it without his job. That kind of confidence would always find
uses. From helping you take control of your future to rebounding from
a particularly bad time, confidence in your self is what starts
changes in life.
This film made me think about the effect that standing up for
yourself has on your confidence and self-image. When Baxter was
letting everyone use his apartment, he didn't seem to be enjoying his
life. He was "getting ahead" by the business standard, but
seemed to truly be feeling empty and stepped on. It was only until
after he refused his boss' request, even under threat of being fired,
that he really seemed to be proud and happy with himself. I certainly
feel good about myself whenever I defend my wants and beliefs.