Joseph Kotcher, a retired traveling salesman, lives with his son Gerald and daughter-in-law Wilma in Los Angeles. He dotes upon his young grandson Duncan irritating high-strung Wilma to the... See full summary »
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Joseph Kotcher, a retired traveling salesman, lives with his son Gerald and daughter-in-law Wilma in Los Angeles. He dotes upon his young grandson Duncan irritating high-strung Wilma to the point that she hires Erica, a high school student, as a regular babysitter to replace his efforts. However, Grandpa Kotcher still gets on her nerves, and she convinces Gerald to move him out. To humor his son he agrees to take an apartment at a retirement facility, but after being subjected to some psychological tests he opts instead to take an extended vacation, traveling up the coast by bus. Erica leaves town at the same time, for upon discovering she is pregnant, Wilma fires her and she is sent away to work in San Bernadino by her uptight older brother Peter, who is also her guardian. Grandpa Kotcher returns weeks later to find a Halloween party underway and his room full of Wilma's sewing stuff. A waiting card from Erica explains that due to "serious difficulties" she cannot repay some money he... Written by
I first saw this back in the late '70's on TV. We loved it in the family, great fun, heart and performances. Matthau's intrepid, smart if slightly 'out There' Kotch is a unique character, well acted, and always someone we root for. It's not much different from the roles he would go onto play in the 90s, but...done by a younger man.
Sometimes the makeup and haircoloring doesn't quite look convincing, but that's okay too. The performance is put across as much by body language and posture as anything else.
The car is a great added touch-the knocking engine and etc a counterpoint to Kotch's own creaky body.
I liked Ellen Geer as the crabby daughter too-was surprised that she wound up in 'Phenomenon' and several other flix(Patriot Games) that I have seen before. Never made the connection.
It is dated sure, but that is inevitable with films. It's worth yer time.
*** outta **** Nice job by Lemmon, too.
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