A classic from 1968, The Odd Couple stars comedy duo Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau as Felix Ungar and Oscar Madison. The work was nominated for an Oscar for its adaption from Neil Simon's play, as well as for Best Editing, and a host of other awards including Golden Globes and a Grammy.
The film begins with a poker game being interrupted by some card-stopping news. The revelation leads to the sloppy, dishevelled bachelor Felix offering a place to stay to the neat, and somewhat neurotic, Oscar. The title of the film suggests personality clashes, and as the film progresses, each characters quirks are developed and escalated, winding up both the tension and the laughs. The expertise of writer Neil Simon shines through, as such domestic banalities as doing the washing up are given the significance of pushing the nuclear red button.
Performances from two of the finest mean that we really buy into the seriousness and absurdity of the situation. Chances are, either Felix or Oscar will do or say something during the 105 minutes of this film that will make you think of someone you know - or worse, yourself!
As the original group of friends act as spectators to the development of the bizarre partnership, one of the key questions throughout the film seems to be whether or not the poker game will survive. The reality is that the film is about friendship, its nuances and it's limits.
Released on the 16th of August, this is as funny today as it was 50 years ago.
Conclusion: Is a friend in need really a friend indeed?
Overall rating: Not everybody's cup of tea but definitely worth a watch.
Check it out on IMDB here!
[Image from IMDB]