Friday, 1 May 2009

Films What I Inexplicably Haven't Got Round To Watching Before Now #1 - The Odd Couple

(This potentially wins the prize for the most torturous themed-type blog title so far. Note that I say "so far" implying that I can come up with something far more torturous in the future. Oh, believe me, I can...)

In a nutshell:- Yes, it's the archetypal set-up - the tidy one and the slobbish one living together. Will they get on?

So You've Never Seen This Til Now?:- Nope, for some reason, its one of those films that's always managed to pass me by. Not out of a conscious desire to avoid it or some inkling that I wouldn't enjoy it, it's just one of those films that "I'll get round to watching someday"* And, on Sunday, some day finally rolled around.

So What's The Verdict Then?:- I really enjoyed it. Oh, you wanted something a bit more in depth than that? Fair enough then... It's very much a film that still has strong traces of it's stage roots - the action doesn't stray very far from the main living room of slobbish Oscar's flat but it doesn't suffer any for that, mainly due to the sparkling script (adapted by Neil Simon from his own play) and the fine performances from Walther Matthau as the slobby, slovenly Oscar and Jack Lemmon as the housework-obsessed, neurotic Felix. I guess which character you sympathise with more depends on your own personal personality as I found Oscar's behaviour towards Felix to be a little on the harsh side at times. I mean, come on, he only wants to keep things neat and tidy, what's wrong with that? Yeah, OK, I'm probably more Unger-ish out of the two options.

So Would You Recommend It?:- Yes, definitely, especially if you're a fan of either Matthau or Lemmon or just a fan of nicely observed character interplay. The Odd Couple II's on this weekend - think I'll give that a look and see if it's worth a watch (sequels, though - usually subject to the law of diminishing returns...)

* I have a list of films like that so long that it could probably choke a small whale.


the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Two of my best friends were in a stage production of this in college. It's very good and very funny. What made it better was that there were times, just hanging out, that they were like Felix and Oscar.

I guess it's a good thing they never lived together, just in dorm rooms across from one another.

Rachel May said...

The Odd Couple was one of my favorite shows as a kid! Love the theme song...

kapgaf said...

Two ace actors, a great script. What do you get ? Magic. Glad you liked this one.
My number one still to see is Last Year in Marienbad.

The Masked Philosopher said...

The television show was pretty strong, with Jack Klugman and Tony Randall in the roles of Oscar and Felix, respectively. I, too, just watched the movie for the first time after watching the entire TV series courtesy of Netflix.

That Baldy Fella said...

mjenks - I think everyone knows a pair of inexplicable "why are they frineds?" types like that.

Rachel - Yeah, as soon as I heard the theme tune I recognised it, although I don't remember ever seeing the show over here.

kapgaf - Hmmm, I've never heard of that one before and am now intrigued...

MP - I'm thinking I might have to search out the series now to see how it holds up