27 July 2012

Film review: The Odd Couple (1968) by Gene Saks, *****


Neil Simon's beloved story about two divorced men who decide to share a New York apartment. Felix (Jack Lemmon) is fussy and fastidious to a fault. He proves that cleanliness is next to insanity. Oscar (Walter Matthau) wreaks havoc on a tidy room with the speed and thoroughness of a tornado. An enduring and endearing picture with the intelligence one usually misses in comedies.


Today I have seen this great film for the first time, nearly half a century after if was made, and I had a ball. Not only is the film superfunny. Not only it keep a nice clip throughout. It is actually a pretty serious analysis of many of the most common idiosyncrasies of men. All men, or at least most men, in any country. On the one hand we just want to be left alone, but on the other hand, when we are, we resent it and look for relationships.

Also, I sympathized a lot with oscar for setting up the two girls only to see them fall for Felix, who could not care less, at least in the beginning, and ends up reaping the fruits. It happened to me so many times! (I am usually the Oscar, not the Felix, in this kind of circumstances!)

Some memorable quotes:

[When Oscar can't take it anymore and asks Felix to leave]
Felix: In other words, you're throwin' me out.
Oscar: Not in other words. Those are the perfect ones!

Felix: I think I'm crazy.
Oscar: If it makes you feel any better, I think so too.

[When Felix is very tense]
Oscar: Look at this. You're the only man in the world with clenched hair.

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