Unrequited Infatuation & “The Seven Year Itch”
The Seven Year Itch is a classic 1955 comedy film about a man who struggles to remain faithful to his wife after he meets a beautiful young actress. It’s an adaptation of a Broadway play, and in the play version, he actually gives in and has a brief affair with the unnamed Girl he meets. However, due to official rules of “decency” in the 1950s film industry, the filmmakers were not allowed to depict an act of adultery on screen. Because of this, most fans believe the play is a more genuine version of the story than the movie. Even the writer/director Billy Wilder distanced himself from the film, because he was not allowed to tell the story he wanted to tell.
The film that resulted however, is still very charming and worth a watch. I have a very personal appreciation for it though because of its spot on depiction of a man who becomes infatuated with a woman who very much loves and admires him, but doesn’t have romantic feelings for him. This is a situation many people find themselves in, and it’s one I’ve dealt with in my life multiple times, so it kind of hits close to home. A lot of guys describe this situation as “being in the friend zone” although that term is falling out of favor because it sort of implies that “putting guys in the friend zone” is some aggressive, intentional thing that women do.
Anyway, I really enjoyed the way the movie handled this situation, even if it wasn’t what the writers originally intended. The cool thing about art is that different people can walk away with different interpretations, even after experiencing the same thing.