The Odd Couple II

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The Odd Couple II
Neil simons the odd couple ii.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Howard Deutch
Produced by Neil Simon
Robert W. Cort
David Madden
Written by Neil Simon
Starring Jack Lemmon
Walter Matthau
Music by Alan Silvestri
Cinematography Jamie Anderson
Edited by Seth Flaum
Production
company
Cort/Madden Productions
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • April 10, 1998 (1998-04-10)
Running time 96 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Spanish
Box office $18,912,328[2]

The Odd Couple II is the 1998 sequel to 1968's The Odd Couple. Written by Neil Simon (who also produced), the film reunites Jack Lemmon as Felix Unger and Walter Matthau as Oscar Madison in their last film together. The film is also significant among sequels for having one of the longest gaps between the release of the original and a sequel in which all leads return.

Each actor made only one more theatrical film after this: The Legend of Bagger Vance for Lemmon and Hanging Up for Matthau, in which neither actor played a leading role, both in 2000.

Plot[edit]

It's been 17 years since Oscar Madison and Felix Unger have seen one another. Oscar is still a compulsive gambler and an untidy slob, now living in Sarasota, Florida, but still a sportswriter. One day, he is called by his son Brucey with an invitation to California for his wedding the following Sunday. A second shock for Oscar—the woman his son is marrying is Felix's daughter, Hannah.

On the flight from New York to Los Angeles, it becomes clear that Felix hasn't changed his ways—he's still a fussy, allergy-suffering neat freak nuisance. Oscar and Felix are reunited at the airport and very happy to be together again after 17 years of separation—at least for a couple minutes. They take a rental car to San Malina for the wedding. But the trip begins with Oscar forgetting Felix's suitcase at the Budget car rental, including the wedding gifts and wardrobe inside. Oscar also loses the directions to San Malina when his cigar ash burns them.

He and Felix become hopelessly lost on their way, unable to even remember the name of the town where they are headed. They end up in the desert, where the car rolls off a cliff and catches fire. If that were not enough, they get arrested several times by the local police, first for driving a truck carrying illegal Mexican immigrants, and then for being inside a $150,000 vintage Rolls Royce Silver Wraith with a dead man. Irritated, exhausted and convinced that they'll never get to the wedding, they get arrested yet again for consorting with armed Rednecks who believe Oscar and Felix were flirting with their wild women Thelma and Holly. The boys are freed and driven to the local airport by the police, who are only too pleased to be rid of them.

Felix and Oscar make it to the wedding, but not before Felix falls for a woman on the airplane. Her name is Felice Adams, Oscar's ex-sister-in-law, the sister of his ex-wife, Blanche. Felix is more interested when he hears Felice tell him and Oscar that her husband Barry died of a heart attack 4 years prior to their time (He calls her "Lis", which causes Oscar to ask Felix if she calls him "Lix"). They arrive to find that Brucey is having second thoughts about the wedding due to his parents' bad history with marriage. Felix and Oscar argue with their ex-spouses, after which Oscar persuades his son to go through with it. Felix's suitcase is returned and the wedding goes off without a hitch.

The next morning, Felix and Felice leave on one flight and part ways with Oscar, who returns to Florida. Oscar is telling his poker friends about the wedding when the door bell rings. It is Felix, who says things with Felice didn't work out. Felix wonders if he could move in with Oscar until he finds his own place. Oscar says no, but eventually he relents, first saying their days of being roommates will be over if Oscar catches Felix matching any of his socks, to which Felix very happily agrees. Before long Felix is cleaning up the apartment and Oscar is overcome with a sense of having been through all this before.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

The film was a critical and commercial failure. Despite the fact Lemmon and Matthau had success with their Grumpy Old Men films in the mid-90s, this project was not as successful as expected.[3] The film grossed $18 million at the North American domestic box office, and although Lemmon and Matthau's previous film Out to Sea also disappointed, it was better received by critics and had a slightly higher box office gross.[4]

It holds a total of 22% on Rotten Tomatoes.[5] Stephen Holden's review in the April 10, 1998 New York Times called it "a dispiriting, flavorless travesty, the equivalent of moldy tofu mystery meat."[6]

References[edit]

External links[edit]