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It has been seventeen years now since Oscar and Felix saw each other for the last time. Oscar is living in Florida, Felix in New York. One day, Oscar is called by his son Brucey who invites him to his wedding to Felix' daughter Hannah next Sunday in California. Oscar and Felix meet again at Los Angeles International Airport and take a rental car in order to go to San Malina for the wedding. The trip develops into an odyssey, starting with Oscar forgetting Felix' suitcase at the Budget station, going over to the complete loss of the directions (and the car), several difficulties with the police, a dead person, a toupee, underwear and revenge-hungry Cowboys and ending up with Felix meeting the "one and only" woman. But the wedding has to be reached on time.Written by
Julian Reischl <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Mary Beth Peil "Felice" and Christine Baranski "Thelma" would be teamed up eleven years later as costars of the hit CBS series "The Good Wife". See more »
Just before getting into the rental car, Oscar is carrying both his and Felix's luggage. His own suitcase in his right hand and Felix's in his left hand. Oscar steps down a small staircase at the rent-a-car office and the suitcases switch hands in an instant. See more »
Felix, I haven't seen you in what, 8, 9 years?
Seventeen! Seventeen years, Oscar, you couldn't remember that we haven't seen each other for seventeen years?
To tell you the truth I didn't dwell on it. Alright, seventeen years, so your hair got whiter, your ears got bigger, your nose got longer, but you still retain that unique, elusive pain in the ass quality that drives me berserk.
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When Paramount decided to recreate two of the most beloved characters on stage and on the big and small screens fortunately Neil Simon was hired to age Felix Unger and Oscar Madison. And since this is done in real years, Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau who played them on screen back in the Sixties aged right along side the characters they played. No one else could have done proper justice to Felix and Oscar and fortunately they were both alive to get the job done.
A lot has happened in the intervening years. Simon for some reason made Matthau far more ethnically Jewish in this version which finds Oscar living in a senior citizens center writing for a local paper covering minor league baseball and indulging in his weekly pastime of penny ante poker with some contemporaries. He's still the same grouchy lovable slob he always was. I do love that bombs away scene with the garbage bags from his apartment, I can't say more.
And then he learns that his son is marrying his old roommate Felix's daughter and both are invited to the wedding out in Southern California. Enter Jack Lemmon who after making himself a royal pest to the crew on the New York flight to California meets up with Matthau where they rent a car and journey to the small southern California town all of which begin with either San or Los in their names. Don't believe me, look at a map of California and see what I'm talking about. That is after leaving Felix's plastic bag wrapped suitcase on the curb.
After that for a good half the picture Lemmon and Matthau are alone on the screen and that's what the movie-going public paid to see in 1998 in their last joint project. Two of the greatest comic actors and I say that and not comedians doing their best with some of the most impeccable timing and diction and in Matthau's case one of the most expressive faces in film history. Getting involved with a pair of rednecks and their slutty wives and getting into a car with an aged Barnard Hughes who just stops living and getting stuck with a truck of illegal immigrants are the three situations that put them in the jurisdiction of Sheriff Richard Riehl who gets tired of hosting these two in his jail.
Comes the wedding and the aftermath and all I can say there is Oscar as a sportswriter who covered the Yankees would be familiar with what Yogi Berra said about 'De Ja Vu all over again'.
Oscar and Felix they're back, they're better than ever and with both Lemmon and Matthau now gone, we're sadder for the fact they'll never return.
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