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Grumpier Old Men

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Grumpier Old Men
Theatrical release poster
Directed byHoward Deutch
Written byMark Steven Johnson
Produced byJohn Davis
George Folsey Jr.
Richard C. Berman
CinematographyTak Fujimoto
Edited byBilly Weber
Seth Flaum
Maryann Brandon
Music byAlan Silvestri
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • December 22, 1995 (1995-12-22)
Running time
101 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$25 million
Box office$71.5 million[1]

Grumpier Old Men is a 1995 American romantic comedy film, and a sequel to the 1993 film Grumpy Old Men directed by Howard Deutch, with the screenplay written by Mark Steven Johnson and the original music score composed by Alan Silvestri. Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Ann-Margret, Burgess Meredith, Daryl Hannah, Kevin Pollak, and Katie Sagona reprised their roles. In addition, this was Meredith's final film before his death in 1997.


The feud between Max and John has cooled and they have become good friends. Their children, Melanie and Jacob, have become engaged. Meanwhile, John is enjoying his marriage to new wife Ariel. John and Max still call each other "moron" and "putz" respectively but with friendly intentions.

The spring and summer fishing season is in full swing with the annual quest to catch "Catfish Hunter," an unusually large catfish that seems to enjoy eluding anyone who tries to catch it. However, the local bait shop closed after Chuck, the previous owner, died in the first movie. Maria Ragetti has purchased the property with the intent of converting it into a fancy Italian restaurant.

Irritated it will no longer be a bait shop, Max and John join forces to sabotage the restaurant. They are successful at first with their practical jokes. However, when Ariel learns what is going on, she tells John to apologize to Maria at once, and he does after Ariel kicks him out of the house. Max and Maria begin dating after discovering a shared passion for fishing, while her mother Francesca dates John's father, J.W.

To complicate things further, Jacob and Melanie call off their engagement due to stress from their parents' involvement. Upon hearing the news, John and Max reignite their feud and go back to their childish pranks again such as John cutting a hole in Max's fishing net and detaching the anchor to his boat. Max retaliates by disconnecting John's motor from his boat and broadcasting him nude (while Ariel was making a clay statue of him) at a Sears department store. Ariel is stressed out because of it and leaves John until things settle down. At the restaurant, Francesca is worried about all the time Maria spends with Max. She reminds her daughter of her five failed marriages and worries that Max will make it six.

After being convinced to take a long look at herself, Maria reluctantly stops seeing Max. Distraught over losing Ariel, John heads to the lake for his father's advice but finds that he has died in his favorite spot with a fishing pole in one hand and a can of beer in the other. Following the funeral and the spreading of J.W.'s ashes in the lake, John and Max call off their feud again.

After realizing that their inability to properly plan a wedding is what drove their kids to call it off, they decide to set it right. They help Jacob and Melanie reconcile, explaining their drama. John decides to reconcile with Ariel and convinces Max to talk to Maria. He does and convinces her to take a chance on him, while convincing her mother that he's not going to be like her previous sons-in-law. John and Max manage to catch "Catfish Hunter" but they reluctantly decide to release it so it can be with J.W. in the lake. After they let it go, they realize that they're late for a wedding happening in town and rush to the church as quickly as they can. The wedding is revealed to be for Max and Maria, who have reconciled (Jacob and Melanie have eloped). On the way to their honeymoon, they discover Max's one-eyed bulldog, Lucky, in the car with them, being put there by John earlier as a prank. Ragetti's is also reformed so it will be both a restaurant and a bait shop.



Meredith's Alzheimer's disease worsened and he had to be coached through his role in the film.


Box office[edit]

Grumpier Old Men grossed $71 million at the North American box office, against a production budget of $25 million.[2][3] The film was released in the United Kingdom on March 1, 1996.[4]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 21% based on 19 reviews, with a rating average of 4.2/10.[5] On Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average rating to reviews, the film has a score of 46 out of 100, based on 14 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[6] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale.[7]

Roger Ebert gave the film a score of 2 out of 4 stars.[8] Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times described the film as contrived and getting by on the star power of the cast.[9] Stephen Holden of The New York Times wrote: "Grumpier Old Men, which was directed by Howard Deutch from a screenplay by Mark Steven Johnson, who also wrote the first film, doesn't even try to make sense. And for all the vaunted grumpiness, nobody stays mad for long."[10]

Unmade sequel[edit]

A sequel titled Grumpiest Old Men was announced as being in development with Howard Deutch and Mark Steven Johnson slated to direct and write the film respectively, however, the film ultimately was never made.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Grumpier Old Men (1995)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  2. ^ "Weekend Box Office: 'Exhale' Blows Down the Competition". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-01.
  3. ^ "Weekend Box Office: Rosy News for Hollywood, 'Monkeys'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-01.
  4. ^ "UK Weekend Box Office 1st March 1996 - 3rd March 1996". www.25thframe.co.uk. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Grumpier Old Men (1995)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 16, 2023.
  6. ^ "Grumpier Old Men reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  7. ^ "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com. (Type "Grumpier Old Men" in search)
  8. ^ Ebert, Roger (December 22, 1995). "Grumpier Old Men". RogerEbert.com. Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 2012-06-01.
  9. ^ Thomas, Kevin (December 22, 1995). "MOVIE REVIEW: Stars Add Luster to 'Men's' Contrived Tale". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-01.
  10. ^ Holden, Stephen (December 22, 1995). "FILM REVIEW; 2 Short Fuses Pressing Their Luck". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-06-01.
  11. ^ "Touchstone on 'Trial'". Variety. Retrieved November 19, 2023.

External links[edit]