The Odd Couple II (1998)

HOWARD DEUTCH

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5

USA, 1998.  , . Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , Neil Simon.  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Riding on the wave of successes they had shared with Grumpy Old Men, its sequel and the comedy Out To Sea, the perfect comedy team of Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon reunited for a sequel to one of their most popular films.  It’s more of a rehash of their recent films than anything like the original Odd Couple, but there’s plenty of hilarity to make up for that. Neil Simon’s screenplay liberally steals from the aforementioned nineties comedies as well as the plot from his own Out-Of-Towners as he pits Matthau and Lemmon against each other under the most precarious circumstance: one’s daughter is marrying the other’s son, prompting for a reunion between the two for the first time in seventeen years. When Oscar (Matthau) picks Felix (Lemmon) up from the airport to drive them to the wedding, they end up on a road trip from hell featuring wild biker chicks, exasperated small-town sheriffs and a very slow-driving old man who gives them a lift. It’s predictable, smug and hopelessly corny, but when Matthau starts in on the perfect delivery of Simon’s painfully witty dialogue and Lemmon retaliates with his anally retentive behaviour, you might just split a side.

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