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The Odd Couple II Review

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Now in their 70s, Felix is still allergic and fastidious, while Oscar, relocated to sun-baked Florida, is still a slob who plays poker. The pair are reunited when Oscar's son marries Felix's daughter. They still irritate each other on an interminable trip from LA airport to San Malina for the nuptials...

★★★★★

Oscar (Matthau) and Felix (Lemmon) haven't seen each other for 17 years. We haven't seen them for 30 years. In Neil Simon's 1968 movie adaptation of his own hit play The Odd Couple, a suicidal Felix, thrown out by his wife, moved in with his poker buddy and the feng shui was not good: they bickered like husband and wife. For the rest of us, magical chemistry was achieved.

Now in their 70s, Felix is still allergic and fastidious, while Oscar, relocated to sun-baked Florida, is still a slob who plays poker, these days with a circle of retired biddies. The pair are reunited when Oscar's son marries Felix's daughter. They still irritate each other on an interminable trip from LA airport to San Malina for the nuptials, but - oddly - age has eroded the differences which once defined them. "Your hair got whiter, your ears got bigger, your nose got longer," Oscar declares. His, too.

The Odd Couple remains a classic of its type, and Simon has been planning to reunite Felix and Oscar since 1989. It's his right but sadly, the whole venture is as unfunny as it is unnecessary. Though commendably sprightly, Lemmon and Matthau are too old for this shit, managing only half the number of wisecracks in the allotted time, and the effect is like watching Saint and Greavsie play football. That their momentous meeting is marked with a bumping-into-each-other sight gag is a terrible omen, and by the end of it (two laughs in 90 odd minutes), you'll have become obsessed with the hair sprouting from Matthau's ears. Lemmon even says "fuck". Twice.

Matthau reckons the new film is "funnier in every single solitary imaginable way". Maybe at 78, his mind's going.

Sadly this is as unfunny as it is unnecessary, despite the reunion of the great Matthau and Lemmon