The Odd Couple II on iTunes
If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Much of the movies magic comes courtesy of the cosmically aligned interplay between the always marvellous Matthau and Lemon.
They shared the screen in nine movies down the years, but never did their natural chemistry lift off to quite the same level as it does here. The plot is simplicity personified.
Theme from Neil Simon's the Odd Couple II
The fussy and neurotic Felix is chucked out of his home by his wife and, after a handful of half hearted suicide attempts, winds up at the apartment of the slobbish Oscar seeking a roof over his head. Lemmon is teeth-itchingly irritating as 'neat freak' Felix, while Matthau is masterful as sardonic, laid-back couch potato, Oscar. Simon's words are key to their chemistry and the men's brisk, flab-free bickering is a pure joy throughout. Ultimately, Simon's ear for dialogue and natural understanding for what makes male relationships tick gives us big laughs while underscoring everything with a genuine sense of pathos along the way.
Male identity issues and proper gags live side by side. As they drive a rental car to the desert community where the wedding will take place, Felix repeatedly — and noisily — clears his allergy prone sinuses. Meanwhile, Oscar blissfully puffs away on smelly cigars. Felix demands frequent restroom stops.
Oscar loses the road map. Felix whines. Oscar growls.
And so it goes. To their credit, the two veteran actors generate a great deal of goodwill, and do much more for the pic than it ever does for them.
Director Howard Deutch basically keeps out of their way, which, under the circumstances, may have been the wisest possible move. In the course of an extended but only fitfully funny journey, they are accused of smuggling illegal aliens, accidentally sprayed by a low flying crop duster and vamped in a small town bar by two raucously flirtatious women. Barnard Hughes has a brief but amusing cameo as an elderly gent who gives Oscar and Felix a lift in his car.