|Grumpier Old Men
1995 - PG-13 - 101 Mins.
|Director: Howard Deutch
|Producer: Richard C. Berman, John Davis
|Written By: Mark Steven Johnson
|Starring: Walter Matthau, Jack Lemmon, Ann-Margret, Sophia Loren, Daryl Hannah, Kevin Pollak, Burgess Meredith
|Review by: John Ulmer
"Grumpy Old Men" didn't work for two reasons. One, it was an unfortunate shouting match cashing in on the film's stars' earlier coupling, "The Odd Couple," and without witty material like their original pairing, the film sank low. Two, it was boring.
Now we have a sequel, even worse than the original. It is all about Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon arguing, still, after the mutal agreement at the end of the original. But this time they are arguing because Lemmon's daughter (Daryl Hannah) and Matthau's son (Kevin Pollack) are gettin' hitched. This is bad for the two men, because that means they will be loosely related, I suppose. Anywho, they bicker some more, and we see Jack Lemmon posing nude in one scene (carefully covered by the camera), which I could live for the rest of my life without seeing.
They are also arguing because Matthau is in love with a new Italian woman (Sophia Loren) who has just moved in, opening up a restaurant taking place of "Chuck's Bait Shop." The inhabitants of Grump Land don't like this, because the customers will scare away the fish, so they start pulling mean tricks and pranks on poor Sophia.
"Grumpier Old Men" is the name of this film, as if you didn't already know, and it truly is grumpier. It's worse than the first (hey, that ryhmes) and as I snored I was bored at the sight of this tripe that has scarred my brain for the rest of my life. If you didn't pick up on that sentence, this is what I'm saying: this film is an utter bore from beginning to end, with basically no laughs. At all.
And something else worth noting: Isn't it funny how out of all the eligible bachelors out there, the women in the "Grumpy Old Men" films seem to go straight for the oldest men in town? Walter Matthau is in his seventies here, and the woman he's dating is about forty-something. It's even worse than Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones' relationship--Grump relationships are an outrage!
Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau are a good comic pairing, but as I said in my review of "Grumpy Old Men," film executives seem to see "The Odd Couple" as a shouting match, when it was so much more. So now studio execs seem to think that if they get these two actors to shout on screen, the film will be good. Wrong! The charm of their "Odd Couple" pairing was due to deep, three-dimensional characters, witty dialogue and tons of laughs. Here we just get shouting, and that's the film's major flaw.