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The Odd Couple


For my money, by far the best Neil Simon comedy is 1968's film adaption of his Broadway hit THE ODD COUPLE.

Walter Matthau reprises his stage role as NYC sports writer, bachelor and committed slob Oscar Madison. Matthau delivers every look, reaction and one liner with perfection, the perfect foil to his new roommate.

Jack Lemmon stars as the fussy, sad new bachelor Felix Unger. His wife has kicked him out of the house and he ends up at Oscar's for a couple days that soon become something painfully (and hilariously) longer.

Jack Lemmon is fantastic as Felix, giving him a much more sympathetic edge as the film opens and creating a laugh-out-loud character.

Oscar's weekly poker game is the perfectly executed comedic scene, with a great cast of actors nailing the 60's scene and reacting to Felix's eccentricities.

When Oscar sets up a double date with the Pigeon Sisters next door, the laughs double down.

Matthau and Lemmon are a legendary screen team, with their contrasting styles in perfect sync.

Two years later, this became the legendary ABC sitcom with Jack Klugman & Tony Randall picking up the torch and running into TV history.

Simon's writing typically hasn't aged well, but it still delivers here, even if some of the sixties sexism plays rather awkwardly in today's climate.

Neil Hefti's music score is terrific and the Manhattan street scenes capture another time in the city!

With Simon at his finest and one of the best comedy duos of all time at the top of their game, THE ODD COUPLE gets an A.

Lemmon and Matthau had teamed up on screen two years before in "The Fortune Cookie" and did so again in 1974's "The Front Page", 1981's "Buddy Buddy" and the two "Grumpy Old Men" films in the 90's.

This film was followed 30 years later by the unfortunate sequel "The Odd Couple II", which is better left forgotten.

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