30 December 2005 | documain-1
I wish it wasn't the last.
It is sad to think that we will not have any more gems from either of these two screen legends. Lemmon was a great actor, as can be seen in any one of his many films (particularly, "Days of Wine and Roses," "Glen Garry Glen Ross"). He had a broad range, and could play comedy with the best of them ("Mr. Roberts," "How to Murder Your Wife," etc.) Matthau was a breed apart, having done many dramatic roles in is early career ("The Kentuckian," "Fail Safe"), but it was light comedy where he truly shined. He was one of those true "naturals." So, after the "Grumpy Old Men" successes, they are paired for "The Odd Couple II." From the broad range of commentary here, there are those who celebrate this film, and those who think it is lame. I feel it has good performances in a so-so plot, but it think it was a bad choice. They were both great in the first "Odd Couple," but who can deny that they abdicated the roles of Oscar and Felix to two consummate professionals, Jack Klugman and Tony Randall on TV? They polished those roles to perfection, and they had done all that could be done with them. It was pointless for Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau to go there again.
For me, "Grumpy Old Men" is how I would like to remember them. That film had a good story, and was supported by a great team of veterans, Burgess Meredith in particular. In that film, even the out-takes are great.
"The Odd Couple II" reminds me in many ways of "Tough Guys." Both films had legends, both as teams and as individual actors, so when Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster appear together for the last time, you want for them to have something really special. That is what we wanted for Jack Lemmon and Walther Matthau. These films are okay, but only because the actors are in them. They are not good enough movies to honor their memories.