The Odd Couple II
|The Odd Couple II|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Howard Deutch|
|Produced by||Neil Simon
Robert W. Cort
|Written by||Neil Simon|
|Music by||Alan Silvestri|
|Edited by||Seth Flaum|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
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 Ungar and Walter Matthau as Oscar Madison. The film was the actors' last together. It 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.
It has been 17 years since Oscar Madison and Felix Ungar have seen one another. Oscar is still hosting a regular poker game and is still 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 has not changed his ways—he is 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 of minutes. They intend to share 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 wedding gifts and wardrobe inside. Oscar also loses the directions to San Malina when his cigar ashes burn them.
He and Felix become hopelessly lost, unable to even remember the name of the town where they are headed, so many California city names sounding alike. They end up in a rural area, 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 catching a ride in a truck carrying illegal Mexican immigrants. At a bar in town, they meet two extroverted women, Thelma and Holly, and buy them drinks. Accepting an offer of a ride from a stranger even older than themselves, Felix and Oscar end up inside a $150,000 vintage Rolls Royce Silver Wraith trapped on the wrong side of the road with a dead body (who was the stranger who volunteered to drive them) and get spotted by the police in such fashion and based on suspicion are arrested a second time.
Irritated, exhausted and convinced that they'll never get to the wedding, they get arrested yet again for consorting with armed reprobate Rednecks (which is actually a kidnapping) who believe Oscar and Felix were flirting with their wild women, Thelma and Holly. The boys are freed and driven directly to the local airport by the police, who are only too pleased to be rid of them, especially the sheriff. A woman boarding the airplane is also en route to the wedding and recognizes them. She is Felice Adams, Oscar's ex-sister-in-law, the sister of his ex-wife, Blanche. Felix's eyes light up when he learns that her husband died of a heart attack. He calls her "Lise," which causes Oscar to ask Felix if she calls him "Lix."
They finally arrive at the right place, only 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 doorbell 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 relents, insisting their days of being roommates will be over if Oscar catches Felix matching any of his socks. Before long Felix is cleaning up the apartment and Oscar is overcome with a sense of having been through all this before.
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-1990s, this project was not as successful as expected. 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.
- "NEIL SIMON'S THE ODD COUPLE II (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 1998-09-28. Retrieved 2012-12-16.
- The Odd Couple II at Box Office Mojo
- "City of Angels' Takes Wing in Heavenly Opening Weekend". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
- "Top of the World for Warner Bros. - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. 1998-04-14. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
- The Odd Couple II at Rotten Tomatoes
- Holden, Stephen (1998-04-10). "Movie Review - The Odd Couple II - FILM REVIEW; When Tofu Mystery Meat Is a Metaphor for Comedy - NYTimes.com". Movies.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2013-09-15.