The Owl and the Pussycat Review

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Doris (Streisand) is shopped to the police by Felix (Segal) as her constant stream of callers (Doris is a prostitute) interrupt his writing. By way of vengeance, she moves in with him until they are both booted out of the apartment block. Can such a match made in heaven last?


The Owl and the Pussy Cat neither pulls punches, nor ventures to cross it’s legs when it sits down – if this film has been to a finishing school then it’s one of Neil Simon’s disreputable joints. There is a notable lunge forward in permissiveness here, as the teasing of the Carry On films gives way to outright profanity. About time, too.

There is more to the film than cheap thrills, though, with a script as sharp as Simon's for The Odd Couple and onscreen chemistry as impressive in its kinetic violence as Robert Redford and Jane Fonda’s was feel-good in Barefoot in the Park. Whereas that 'opposites attract' film promised to ‘break the rules’ in its tagline, The Owl and The Pussycat takes up the challenge and leaves us with a ringing in our ears and four-letter words tripping off our tongue.

A bawdy, ballsy blast that tells etiquette where to shove it and rids cinema's unhappy couples of the need to keep up a pretence.