The Odd Couple is a classic, American comedy film. It is from an age of innocence but that does stop it from being as funny these days, as when it was released.
Hubby and I were the original Odd Couple.
When Hubby and I married, back in 1972, everyone, including ourselves, used to call us the Odd couple. My husband was extremely untidy, liked to slob around and preferred to live in a very casual manner. I, on the other hand, was very house proud, liked to be neat and tidy and could not abide clutter.
Thankfully over the years we have mellowed towards each other, but it has taken time. If you have seen the Odd Couple before you will understand the comparison. If you have not, I will try and enlighten you.
The reference to The Odd Couple, was as a comparison to the characters in a popular, American, situation comedy series, and film, of the times. However, I have to say that neither of us was quite as bad as Oscar Madison and Felix Unger, the two main characters in this film.
This Odd Couple originated from a very successful Broadway play, written by Neil Simon and on the stage in 1965. In the play the fastidious, neurotic character was Felix Unger and he was played by Art Carney. Oscar Madison the scruffiest man alive was played by Walter Matthau.
The Odd couple in question.
The film was released in 1967 and still starred Walter, as Oscar. However, the other half of the odd couple was played by Jack Lemmon. Lemmon was perfect as the pernickety Felix.
Oscar is a divorced man who has got used to living alone. He loves his freedom, having the boys round occasionally, for card games, and living like a tramp. When his friend, Felix, is thrown out of his marital home, Oscar offers the near suicidal Felix, a temporary place to live. Within a few weeks, it is Oscar who is near suicidal, bordering on homicidal. What is it they say about 'A friend in need is a friend indeed'. We used to say 'A friend in need is a b nuisance', and this film proves we were right.
Despite the age of the film, The Odd Couple still stands up well.
The characters and cast are great. The film is fairly true to the original stage production. However, the plot of the play takes place solely in Oscar's apartment, whereas, the film sees the two main characters out and about a little in New York, where the film is set.
The relationship between these two men is very funny and Felix's peculiarities, around the home, are all the more funny, as he is a man. At the time of this film, on the whole, housekeeping and housework tended to be the responsibility of women.
This film has some great situations and lines, such as during Oscar and Felix's argument about dinner. As Felix smugly tells Oscar that the food is not Spaghetti, it is Linguine, Oscar's retort is that 'It is garbage now', as he throws it at the wall.
As you can tell I love this film and so thoroughly recommend it.
Although The Odd Couple may seem a little dated, in parts, the sets and scenery stand the test of time well. This is true of the script also, with it's timeless story, of a well meaning friend, ending up wishing that he had not been quite so friendly. The film caricatures the difficult situation when two people, who are very different, attempt to live together.
There is a more up to date sequel called, The Odd Couple Two, which I enjoyed, but not quite as much as this original film. That film was released just before Walter Matthau died in 2000 and Jack Lemmon died in 2001.
These two comedy actors starred together in many productions and did seem to have an on screen chemistry. The Odd Couple is great family entertainment and I was surprised to see that it is not universally rated, but is recommend with parental guidance. I would think that it is one of the most inoffensive films going, but I suppose the theme is slightly adult.
If you are a fan of Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, or simply love nostalgic comedies, this film is for you.
Even if this does not apply to you, I would think that you would find this film funny. Overall, it is just like life can be at times, frustrating but funny.