During a high profile Mafia testimony case in California's Riverside County, a hired killer checks-in a hotel room near the courthouse while his next door depressed neighbor wants to commit suicide due to marital problems.
Walter Matthau plays a professional killer going by the name of Trabucco, who is on his way to rub out gangster Rudy "Disco" Gambola, set to testify against the mob. As Trabucco heads off to a hotel across the street from the courthouse where he plans to set his hit, he runs into the depressed Victor Clooney, who laments the fact that his wife has left him for the head of a weird Californian sex clinic. Trabucco keeps walking and sets up his rifle in a hotel room. He is disturbed by Victor trying to hang himself in the adjoining hotel room and tries to prevent him from killing himself by restraining him, but Victor breaks loose and climbs onto the ledge of the hotel window. To get Victor to come back in, he agrees to drive him to the clinic to see his wife. The two go to the clinic where Victor's wife Celia informs Victor that she is in love in the head of the clinic, quack Dr. Zuckerbrot. When Victor finds out that Celia is filing for divorce, he heads back to the hotel to kill ...Written by
Wilder-wise, a non-Wilder: amusement-wise, barely adequate
"Buddy Buddy", the final film of the genius that was Billy Wilder, is a decent comedy but not a worthy ending to his career. It's a remake of the French film "L'Emmerdeur", but I haven't seen it and am therefore incapable of comparison.
Someone pointed out that the movie looks a lot older than it is. I very much agree.
It is sad to see geniuses like Wilder and Diamond putting something as awkward as genital jokes into their script. Surprisingly, there is one clumsy slapstick moment. There are genuinely funny scenes and lines, too ("Father, you said the F word"), but they are a minority. Some attempts at creating humour fail terribly, as if made by amateurs (Lemmon chair-bound); most merely produce nods of acceptance.
Matthau is good and Lemmon is amusing as expected. However, Paula Prentiss's performance is really disturbing, intentionally or not, and Kinski's character is just annoying - and I mean written that way.
Overall the film, entitled here "Varsinaiset kumppanukset" ("Some Buddies"), isn't nearly as embarrassing as I'd expected; a mere shadow, nevertheless, it is of its director's previous masterpieces - if even that. But be not fooled: Wilder can't go bad (granted, I still have a lot to see). A few, pardon my French, comedy nuggets make this decent as an entertainment, and its two stars are okay. "Buddy Buddy", then, as a title... Meh.
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