In The Apartment, "Bud" Baxter, the character played by Jack Lemmon, lends his room to his bosses to have sex with their lovers. He gives them the key, they go, do their thing and go back to their homes. Billy Wilder's is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful holiday period films in history.
The anecdote that Justine Smith and Francisco Peres have to tell is reminiscent of the Hollywood classic. Yes, it happened on New Year's, it involved strangers having sex in your house, and it ended well.
But, nobility obliges, it is worth focusing on the great differences between both stories. Differences that distance the journey of Canadians from what happens in Wilder's film and bring it closer to a comedy that could have been taken to the cinema by Seth Rogen and company.
Justine Smith and Francisco Peres. Photo: Facebook
I: Wedding on New Year's Eve
It was the end of 2015. Justine and Francisco decided to get married on New Year's Eve and celebrate it in an austere way with no more than twenty guests. The plan was to reunite with his closest friends and family and return home to Montreal for a no-frills wedding night.
A small detail began to tarnish their new year: they forgot to disable the option to "book" in the publication of their apartment on Airbnb. As there was already a person renting their house they did not want any more intruders on their special night.
Murphy's law. The future couple received a call shortly before they were getting married: it was a young couple in their twenties from Ottawa who needed accommodation on New Year's Eve and had seen their ad on Airbnb. "We promise that we will be very calm," they were assured.
Smith at first did not want to know anything, but after discussing it with Francis both agreed that it could not be so serious. After all, they needed the money. The new tenants showed up, settled in and, voila, case closed.
The day of sealing love arrived. The couple went out to their wedding, celebrated quietly, the year changed and the two returned home early -at about two thirty in the morning-, ready to spend a good intimate evening.
II: What happens behind the walls?
Smith and Peres opened the door of their house with the illusion of flying to his room and reconfirming their love. It was difficult for them: there was no one inside, but everything was chaos. The only way to get to his room quickly was by teleportation.
Obviously, the new tenants celebrated in their home of passage and went to the center of the city to continue doing so and receive the year abroad. After overcoming the obstacles of a monumental disorder, the newlyweds managed to enter their bed.
It is unknown what happened in the time span between Justine and Francisco entering their room and the tenants returning to the house.
The living room of the marriage. Photo: Airbnb
Wrapped in the sheets of their bed, the couple heard that the boys finally returned. Where had they gone? They didn't know, but they prayed that they would remain calm.
As you may know, that did not happen. It was quite the opposite. The first unorthodox noise they heard had to do with some snorting. They quietly debated whether to say something or not and came to the conclusion that it would be best not to warn them at all. They preferred to let it go. They thought it wasn't worth the hassle.
They tried again to sleep.
The next noise scared them a little: more people entered their house. And they hadn't paid. There were at least three strangers who settled in the living room with the two tenants.
The new sound that prevailed made them realize that the scene that happened out of frame and was only constructed in their minds by the action of sound waves was of extreme lust. Now they didn't just hear them snorting cocaine: they could hear them having sex.
What we have of history already differs too much with Bachelor floor. On the one hand, Justine and Francisco did not lend anyone their apartment to use as a temporary shelter; On the other hand, in the film there are no traces of drugs that are inhaled. Of course: the couple was charging for the stay of the tenants in their apartment.
The new debate they had under the covers was similar to the one that revealed them when they heard the first snorts. Was it worth telling them to stop their sexual act? Everything was very low and the sofa in the living room could hold up. Decision made: let them do their own thing.
III: The Calm After the Storm
He spent the wedding night. It was half past eight in the morning and Justine got up as a newlywed to see what had happened in the living room.
Again, Justine and Francisco. What a wedding night! Photo: Facebook
The setting was not worthy of Bachelor Floor, it was worthy of Apocalypse Now.
The disorder was the least of it. The first thing that caught his attention, that detail that captured his most intense gaze, was the presence of two strangers lying in the armchairs of the living room. They were naked and completely asleep.
Smith woke them up. They asked him who he was and wished him a happy new year. Around it were bags of cocaine.
Next destination: the guest's room. There the tenants were lying next to one other person. The carpet in the room showed signs that things had happened on it. The main one: a semen stain.
"Things got out of control," the young men in their twenties told the owners of the place. Justine and Francisco still do not know if the strangers were close to the tenants or if they were people they met in the New Year. Everything seemed to indicate that nothing was planned...
As good guests, the couple offered to clean up and fix the things they had broken. His work was good, without deep cleaning, but dignified. They managed with the most superficial dirt, took out the garbage and arranged the furniture. The newlyweds were satisfied.
Before leaving, the tenants told Justine and Francisco, "Sorry for being such bad guests. We have no excuses for our behavior. Honestly, we were screwed. Congratulations on your wedding!"
The young men tipped Smith and Peres with a story to tell similar to a good Hollywood movie comic sequence... and five stars on Airbnb.
This story was originally published in Clarín on 27/12/2021