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John and Max are elderly men living next door to each other. They're continuously arguing and insulting each other, and have been this way for over 50 years. One day, Ariel, moves into the street. Both men are attracted to her, and their rivalry steps up a gear. Written by
I write this in 2001. Sadly, at this time, all three of the "Grumpy Old Men" (Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, and Burgess Meredith) have now passed on. But this film will show that some of your best work can come in your golden years.
I first saw "Grumpy Old Men" against protest. Though I'd heard of its legacy at being "SO funny!"-- I rebelled against the idea of seeing two foul old guys yelling at each other. One night, my parents rented it-- and I happened to be staying at their house that night-- so I popped it in the VCR and watched it.
I went to bed in pain that night because my abdomen was sore from laughing so hard. It took over 3 hours for me to watch the whole movie because I kept rewinding and watching the funniest parts over and over again.
Though the movie stars all VERY-seasoned and excellent actors & actresses-- one tends to forget that... and only sees "John and Max" going at it again. It's a fifty-year fight between these two mischievous old bags of hot-air. The movie becomes more exciting as it progresses-- because you get to wonder who's going to strike next and humiliate the other... Gustafson or Goldman?
Aside from a wonderful story line and script, there are some very memorable one-liners and quotes from both this and "Grumpier Old Men" (the sequel). The soundtrack is sprinkled with wonderful old songs, along with festive polka songs to set the atmosphere for the town of Wabasha, Minnesota-- a small Swedish-settlement in the North.
If you've not seen this movie, and you have a great sense of humor-- do yourself the favor of renting "Grumpy Old Men". It's a heart-warming, happy film that leaves you feeling good after seeing it. God rest all the souls of the stars of this film that are now no longer with us-- but enjoy one of their last gifts to us before they left.
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