The Odd Couple Cover

“The Odd Couple” is one of those popular and mutable classics that has gone through so many iterations, and been performed so many times – with the concept of the obsessive neat-nick paired with the loveably casual slob having become such an enduring entertainment convention over the last forty years – that its completely refreshing to go back and discover the original source; Oscar and Felix, played by Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau at the height of their powers, in Neil Simon’s enduring creation. Razor-sharp, yet subtle, not an obvious comic pratfall in the whole two hours; The Odd Couple is not, strictly speaking, a comedy of manners, but rather that of characters. Create them, create them whole, with all their foibles just a titch larger than life, (so that they might be seen from the back balcony) set them down in an uncomfortable situation, wind up the plot (such as it is) and watch them go. On one level this is not just about slobby Oscar, and his neurotic house-guest Felix; they are just at the center of a constellation of other quirky and beautifully played characters – the giggly Pigeon sisters and the other poker-playing buddies. Watching all the relationships unfold is as satisfying as watching as an incredibly ornate and complicated bit of Rube Goldbergish clockwork mechanism go through it’s set paces. It’s not that this release of movie version of the hit play will be new, fresh and startling – it is just so very satisfying in watching it performed by masters.

As is usual with the Centennial collection releases, the quality of the disc itself is fantastic, and the additional features are lavish; the most interesting for fans is a
Collection of memories of the shooting, from the surviving cast members. One small thought – how very odd to be reminded at the time that Jack Lemmon was a huge star in movies, and Walter Matthau very new and relatively unknown; the director took a bit of a risk in casting him.

“The Odd Couple” Centennial edition release is available from Amazon.com and other retail outlets.

Sgt. Mom is a free-lance writer and member of the Independent Authors Guild who lives in San Antonio and blogs at The Daily Brief. Her current book project – The Adelsverein Trilogy is also available through Amazon.com. More about her books is at her website www.celiahayes.com.

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