One of my greatest loves in life is Walter Matthau. Color me crazy, but I love the droopy-faced curmudgeon. My second greatest love? Jack Lemmon. The fact that I hadn’t seen their original coming together in The Odd Couple until this weekend is absolute blasphemy. But now I can proudly say that I have crossed it off my list, and beg that you do so as well over Fall Break.
Yes, there is plenty to binge watch and catch up on this Fall Break, but there’s nothing better than a classic film every once in a while to get away from overproduced films and television shows that we have become accustomed too — not that there’s anything inherently wrong with them, but my eyes need a break sometimes. There’s something homey about a classic that I enjoy reverting back to, especially in our weary and jittery (paradoxical, yes, but accurate if you think about it) day-to-day lives. And as The Odd Couple depicts a unique domestic partnership, we get plenty of that homey feel.
So why should you actually sit through this film? I personally don’t think there is a better reason other than Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon being a wonderful couple, but for those who don’t know who they are or need more, here’s why: the movie is wonderfully funny (there are no dick jokes in this one, folks. See? I can branch out) as well as heart-warming. For those fortunate enough to have a roomie soulmate, you will definitely identify with Oscar and Felix. Oscar (Matthau) is the messy one of the two, a guy’s guy, a goes-with-the-flow type. Felix (Lemmon) is uptight, clean and a don’t-mess-with-his-dinner-course-flow type. And because they’re complete opposites, they work terrifically together despite hating each other for who they are on a consistent basis. One of the best scenes involves Oscar being fed up with Felix’s incessant need to clean and tidy up the apartment.
That is not to say there are not scenes of love. Oscar, a divorcée himself, takes Felix in in the first place because his wife has called for a separation and Felix is suicidal. He’s trying to watch out for his buddy. He then tries to get him to move on with some beautiful (supposedly) British chickadees (Gwendolyn the widow and Cecily the divorcée — ahem, Oscar Wilde fans, ahem) in the same apartment building. Hell, he lets him choose who he likes. Then in their final blowout when they tell each other off, they start with what they love about the other — begrudgingly, of course. It is so sweet to see this ornery domestic partnership flourish.
So sure, you could watch a slew of television shows this break or watch some mindless blockbuster, but you shouldn’t. Come to be educated in comedy classics and stay for the birth of wonderful friendship between two adorable, grumpy old men. I mean, that description alone should be a selling point.