Set in New York, The Odd Couple follows two friends. Felix (Jack Lemmon) is a writer for a news network but has a broken heart as he’s going through the early stages of divorce. His friend, Oscar (Walter Matthau), is a passionate sports journalist. These two men, who live very differently, are both about to have their lives changed forever.
At the film’s start, we learn that Felix is not coping well with his new separation from his wife. He even tries multiple times to kill himself, believing there’s no way to move forward with life. It’s not long until his close friends, including Oscar, hear about Felix’s marriage and learn how hard Felix is taking the news. When Felix turns up to a poker match between friends, his friends pretend they are unaware of Felix’s situation to try and not put him in a further sad state. But when Felix tries to take his life again, Oscar wants to help him, and he makes a massive life choice by inviting Felix to move in with him.
The only problem is that while Oscar and Felix are close friends, they are very different! Oscar lives like a grub and enjoys having a home filled with mess, going out for dinner and spending lots of money. On the other hand, Felix enjoys cooking a home meal and is a major cleaning fanatic. Soon Felix cleans Oscar’s whole apartment and makes even more changes around the place. While this might seem like a blessing at first for Oscar, these kinds of changes start to become an irritation.
For those who are not aware, The Odd Couple is based on a well-known stage play written by Neil Simon. Watching this film, I’m happy to report the vibes of watching a stage play are still evident on the big screen. It’s dialogue-heavy, and something exciting is always occurring among the leads. The comic timing and line delivery from Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau is worthy of a standing ovation. I truly enjoy seeing the comedy duo in this film. Not only are the pair funny to watch as they discover each other’s strange quirks, but they’re also highly believable as best friends. Having seen this film and their chemistry, it’s no wonder the actors would join up again for multiple films in due time.
The pacing of this film is great, and the runtime isn’t noticeable whatsoever. I found myself engaged with both leading characters for the full duration, and I was generally eager to know the outcomes of both characters and their dramas. While the film is quite comedic, I adored the surprising elements of drama that were unexpected and heartfelt, especially during the touching third act. I found the finale unpredictable, and by the end of the film, I was ready to rewatch it all over again.
Overall, this is an excellent film with snappy dialogue that feels real. At no point was I ever bored while watching. It’s filled with amazing performances from Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. I adored witnessing their chemistry, their funny line deliveries and dramatic moments as they bring a strong friendship to life. I had a wonderful time watching this film, and as the credits rolled, I was ready to rewatch it instantly. The Odd Couple (1968) is Now Available on Blu-ray!