**/**** Image C+ Sound B
starring Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Ron Rich, Judi West
screenplay by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond
directed by Billy Wilder
by Bill Chambers The Fortune Cookie was an attempt on Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond's part to recapture the glory days of six years previous, when their one-two punch of Some Like It Hot and The Apartment hit pay dirt. (Imagine Steven Spielberg's 1993, with its back-to-back releases of Jurassic Park and Schindler's List, and you'll have some idea of the position that Wilder and Diamond were in following The Apartment's Oscar glory.) More to the point, it was an act of redemption for the roundly lambasted Kiss Me, Stupid, and like most movie art seeking atonement from the masses, it so slavishly recapitulates a past success that audiences still aren't getting what they want, only what they've had. A homoerotic redux of The Apartment, with Jack Lemmon reassuming the role of the weak-willed schlub and a black man filling in for Shirley MacLaine (although these character ascriptions prove interchangeable), The Fortune Cookie does nothing so well as make you wish you were watching The Apartment instead.