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Neil Simon's
The Odd Couple II

Starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau
Written by Neil Simon
Directed by Howard Deutch
Website: www.oddcouple.com

IN SHORT: Not Dirty Old Men 3

Cranky is old enough to know that Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau were the first (and only) big-screen Odd Couple but he's not old enough to associate them with the roles which, for me and virtually everyone out there, belong to Tony Randall and Jack Klugman. Which also means that, for most of us, we're expecting the Lemmon-Matthau pair to duplicate their work in the two Dirty Old Men movies, which would be reason enough to skip Odd Couple II were it true. But it's not.

Sure, Cranky sat in a sneak preview in a theater filled with people the age of Cranky's parents -- scarred him for what's left of his pathetic life, too. Creator Neil Simon lets the jokes fly almost as fast as the late Henny Youngman could deliver the suckers, and most of 'em strike close enough to the funnybone that I defy you to sit through this flick without cracking a smile. Sooner or later, it's gonna happen. And sooner or later after that Simon's gonna hit your personal bullseye and you're gonna laugh out loud. You have no choice in the matter for, despite the preponderance of jokes dealing with age and life over sixty, there's enough spark left in the bickering of this couple to keep you more than entertained.

It's not television. Felix uses four letter words. 'nuff said.

You know the shtick. Oscar Madison (Matthau) and Felix Unger (Lemmon). Sloppy and Neatnik. Cigar Smoker and Man to Whom Breathing is an Olympic Sport. 17 years after their 13 year stint as roommate versions of The Bickersons ended Oscar's son Bruce (Jonathan Silverman) is marrying Felix' daughter Hannah (Lisa Waltz). Felix flies in from New York. Oscar shleps in from Sarasota, Florida. After rendezvousing at the Los Angeles airport, we begin the rental car ride from hell as the moldering men try to make it to a town in California whose name they can't remember. By the time the stopwatch hits the 90 minute mark and the credits roll, you'll experience reunion, incarceration, death, more incarceration, biker babes and their jealous husbands, even more incarceration and a passel of horny 70somethings.

Trust me, it only sounds scary.

If you're old enough to have experienced The Odd Couple first hand in its original 1968 incarnation, what the hell are you doing on the Internet? You're the primo demo for the 30 years later sequel. Get thee to a theater.

For those of us that catch the TV reruns on Nick at Night, Neil Simon's Odd Couple II isn't a bad date flick. Just be sure to go to the really late show, to make sure all the really old people have gone home to bed.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Neil Simon's The Odd Couple II, he would have paid . . .


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The Cranky Critic® is a Registered Trademark of, and his website is Copyright © 1995  -  2015   by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.