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Okay, so the sequel was pretty absurd, but it was Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau doing what they do best (it was also their final teaming). In this case, Felix Ungar (Lemmon) and Oscar Madison (Matthau) are driving to their son's and daughter's wedding in San something, California, experiencing various unpleasant situations along the way. Most of the movie's strength lies in its one-liners, most of which show just how much both men are seething. I think that my favorite scene is when they stop out in the middle of the desert, and...well, you have to see it. Somewhere up in that great retirement home in the sky, Oscar and Felix must still be getting on each other's nerves. They were truly great.
This has got to be one the funniest film I've seen with the grumpy old men, unfortunately their last, but those two are and forever will be the funniest duo ever. There quotes and acts are hilarious and unforgettable and their acting is excellent, they make Laurel and Hardy look dull, but I love them too. Anyways, in this one they go into a crazy road trip to their children's wedding and the reunion is almost heart warming but funny and they haven't changed a bit, I like especially the part with the ride they had with another old guy. That was classic. Oh, those two, they might've been old but the jokes and humor in their films were fresh. Recommended to all fans of the two, thank Walter Matthau, thank you Jack Lemmon, I'll never forget you, you two are funniest duo on the movies.
It is sad to think that we will not have any more gems from either of
these two screen legends. Lemmon was a great actor, as can be seen in
any one of his many films (particularly, "Days of Wine and Roses,"
"Glen Garry Glen Ross"). He had a broad range, and could play comedy
with the best of them ("Mr. Roberts," "How to Murder Your Wife," etc.)
Matthau was a breed apart, having done many dramatic roles in is early
career ("The Kentuckian," "Fail Safe"), but it was light comedy where
he truly shined. He was one of those true "naturals." So, after the
"Grumpy Old Men" successes, they are paired for "The Odd Couple II."
From the broad range of commentary here, there are those who celebrate
this film, and those who think it is lame. I feel it has good
performances in a so-so plot, but it think it was a bad choice. They
were both great in the first "Odd Couple," but who can deny that they
abdicated the roles of Oscar and Felix to two consummate professionals,
Jack Klugman and Tony Randall on TV? They polished those roles to
perfection, and they had done all that could be done with them. It was
pointless for Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau to go there again.
For me, "Grumpy Old Men" is how I would like to remember them. That film had a good story, and was supported by a great team of veterans, Burgess Meredith in particular. In that film, even the out-takes are great.
"The Odd Couple II" reminds me in many ways of "Tough Guys." Both films had legends, both as teams and as individual actors, so when Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster appear together for the last time, you want for them to have something really special. That is what we wanted for Jack Lemmon and Walther Matthau. These films are okay, but only because the actors are in them. They are not good enough movies to honor their memories.
It is hard to believe it was only eight years ago that this, the last
of the Lemmon and Matthau (or Matthau and Lemmon) films was made, and
within four years both stars would be gone. One only wishes that their
last film together had been more of a success. They had done first rate
sequels before with GRUMPIER OLD MEN, but that film had been done
within two years of GRUMPY OLD MEN, and a natural momentum carried the
stars (and supporting casts) to the finish line. That is not the case
with THE ODD COUPLE II. It came out thirty years after the original THE
ODD COUPLE, and while they are reunited with the play's creator (Neil
Simon) on the screenplay, the momentum - the push - is lacking.
Not that this is a boring film. Far from it. We always wondered how Oscar Madison and Felix Unger would have behaved as elderly men. Of course, Felix looked like he and Gloria were going to settle their differences and return together in the first play/movie. Indeed, in the television series Tony Randall did get back to his wife. But here it is obvious it did not work at all. Both men have remained divorced, and both men remain essential the same: Felix the compulsively organized neatnik and Oscar the incorrigible slob. They also have given each other a wide birth if possible. But they find themselves drawn back into mutual orbit. Oscar's son is getting married - and to Felix's daughter. So the pair are headed for the wedding, and that means jointly showing up.
What happens is a series of joint misadventures on the way to the wedding, especially involving two rather fun young women that they meet (Christine Baranski and Jean Smart) with their jealous boyfriends. This leads to several, increasingly odd, run-ins with the sheriff of a small town they can't seem to successfully leave. Indeed, in one case they get a lift out of town in a beautiful white classic Rolls Royce, which moves more slowly than a pair of people on bicycles.
The situations are all quite amusing. But the unity of the film is not there - it is like a series of skits involving Felix and Oscar, that are vaguely united because the two characters are familiar to us, and they are supposed to get to the wedding. Still the two stars give it their all, and with Baranski, Smart, and the late Bernard Hughes it works well enough as an entertainment. But for me, the wackiness and variety of OUT TO SEA make that film a better final film for the pair.
Despite poor reviews from critics, this follow-up to the "Odd Couple" delivers quite a few big laughs. Both stars are in top form, although it looks as if old age is begining to damper (just slightly) ol' Walter Matthau's style. I enjoyed many of the sight gags, especially one with Bernard Hughes as a man planning to live to "120" as he drives them cross-country. Howard Duetch, who also directed the hilarious "Grumpier Old Men", does a fine job switching between the dramatic and comedic moments. Not a great film, but an entertaining one with quite a few guffaws. It's biggest downfall: It reminded me more of the "Grumpy Old Men" films than the original "Odd Couple".
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In my view, there are two ways to judge this film. The first is by
looking it as a "stand-alone" movie. In that way it doesn't stand up
that well. The plot is okay -- a buddy road trip on the way to a
wedding...only for a change it's senior citizens. The situations are
HUMOROUS, but not laugh-out-loud funny. The principal actors (Jack
Lemmon and Walter Matthau) do their jobs, while the supporting actors
and actresses also do theirs. It's an amusing movie. And, if you don't
know much about Lemmon and Matthau, that's all it will be to you.
The other way to judge this film is by looking at it as the closing act of a REAL buddy team of two actors who have shared a big part of their lives together, both professionally and personally. Then it doesn't matter if the film is as outwardly funny as it is charmingly humorous. You sit there thinking of their first film together -- the first "The Odd Couple" -- and you reminisce. Their first outing with "The Fortune Cookie", their most memorable romp in "The Odd Couple", the hilarity of "The Front Page", their renaissance in "Grumpy Old Men" and "Grumpier Old Men", and even their not so great "Out to Sea" and "Buddy Buddy". You admire them for what they meant individually and collectively to American cinema. And as you watch the scene of them parting at the airport, just maybe you think of Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn in that scene in "Guess Who's Coming Together" where they both know the end is almost upon them...not in film, but in real life. And you see the wistfulness of the parting scene between Lemmon and Matthau, probably realizing that this is the last film together.
So, how to judge this film? Factually or sentimentally? For me, more the latter, because it's a hearty farewell and thank you both for the laughs you have given me.
Unfortunately, I've never seen any version of the play except for the original movie, so I have little idea about the original play and the shows. But to me this movie is exactly like every other movie Matheau and Lemmon did since 1990, and it lacks the simplicity of the 1968 original which made them popular as a comedy/film duo. While the original was mainly performance and character driven, which is what made it so innovative, this one has little to do with the actual characters of Felix and Oscar and their bad chemistry together. It is more plot driven, which is what kills it. In fact, it could have been any two people with the exact same plot and nothing would change, whereas in the original the character's behaviour would have effected the plot a bit. Not only that, but there's no more satire and comments on marriage and divorce except the little bit at the end, which I felt was out of character for the play. You would think there would also be a comment on growing old and dying together, but there isn't because the plot gets in the way. Some may say that movies now have to be more plot driven and not as simplistic as they were 50 years ago, but I'd have to say they're wrong. A plot can still ruin a movie while one which is simply performance based can still make it today. Anyhow, the original is still much more popular.
Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau appear in their final film together here after years of acting together (Matthau died recently). Here, they team up once again as Felix and Oscar. This time, they are on a road trip to their son and daughter's wedding (it's Felix's daughter and Oscar's son) and during the trip their are plenty of funny scenes and one-liners, but it just doesn't hit as well as the original. Good effort anyway. Written again by Neil Simon.
This movie had some real cute and clever lines, but alas these two great actors were really beginning to show their age. The film is none the less worth your time and overall and enjoyable escape. It might have been more believable if the marrying couple had been grandchildren instead of son and daughter. I rated this a 7 and it is recommended for all ages.
This sequel to "The Odd Couple" is odd. First of all, I don't think one
really needed to happen and second of all if one was meant to be made
it should have been made a little earlier. The 90's did sort of overuse
the dynamic duo known as Lemmon and Matthau. Even in the 80's they
paired up. But with films like "Grumpy Old Men", "Grumpier Old Men",
"Out to Sea" and of course "The Odd Couple II", you have to ask
yourself whether or not this great comedic pair really needed to return
as Felix and Oscar. Still they both have the great chemistry on screen
together. Always had, but this sequel felt oddly strained to me since
most of it I've seen already in "Grumpy Old Men".
The script by the great Neil Simon was very hit and miss with the jokes and the whole premise of both of them going to their children's wedding was forced. The direction and editing was pretty sloppy and there was a moment when they were walking in the desert when I almost had a brief flash back of when I saw the movie "Ishtar". The only thing worth seeing and is why I watched it is for Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. Despite this odd sequel having a crapola premise, you still gotta love these guys. I'd say watch it for them, but also check out the first movie.
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