The Odd Couple (1968) [FQ13 Review 17]


Sometimes that quirky classic TV show comes from a much darker place than you might realize.

The Odd Couple (1968)

Why I Saw It: Aside from Batman & Robin, is there a more iconic “dynamic duo” than Oscar Madison and Felix Ungar?  Having enjoyed the Grumpy Old Men movies which reunited Matthau and Lemon and some episodes of the TV series this movie spawned, I felt compelled to watch it when I found it on Netflix Instant.

What Was It About?  “Two friends try sharing an apartment, but their ideas of housekeeping and lifestyles are as different as night and day.

That’s what the common perspective about the film’s plot is, right? Well that’s not what made the film so compelling. Here’s a different write-up regarding the film’s plot:

Having just been informed that his wife wants a divorce, a despondent Felix Ungar unsuccessfully tries to kill himself. Upon learning of his friend’s intention’s, Oscar Madison insists Felix move in with him.

Dark, right?

Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Memorable Performances: There’s a reason why these roles are considered classic performances from Walter Matthau and Jack Lemon.

Potential Nominations for Film Quest ’13:  

  • none

Favorite Parts: I loved any of the scenes where the characters were fighting. The dialogue was both biting and witty.

The Regrettable Aspects: The ending was a bit anti-climatic.

Would I watch it again? It was an entertaining film, but not one that I’d seek out again. If it were on TV late at night, I might not change the channel… though I’d probably consider logging into Netflix Instant.

To Whom Would I Recommend It?  To anyone who hasn’t seen it. There’s a reason it’s a classic, and it’s certainly deserving of a viewing.

Other Recommendations:

Grumpy Old Men – another pairing of Matthau and Lemon. Does there need to be another reason?

Rush Hour – another fun example of two very different worlds colliding

– Harold & Maude – certainly the most interesting on-screen relationship I’ve seen, and it deals with death (primarily suicide) in a very interesting way. VERY dark humor.

As always, if you have any recommendations for alternatives to THE ODD COUPLE, I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Next up, SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED (one of my favorite films of the year so far)!


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