Jack Lemmon Month #4: Grumpy Old Men, Grumpier Old Men

Grumpy Old Men

Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon lead the cast in the Grumpy Old Men movie and it is all about two old men, former best friends John and Max, in a cold war that started when both tried to win the affection of a particular woman. The peaceful years of being apart from each other came to an end when both of them became widower and neighbors, and once again battle for the love of another lovely lady.

The movie also stars Ann-Margaret in the role of Ariel Truax, Daryl Hannah plays the role of Melanie Gustafson, and Burgess Meredith plays the role of Grandpa Gustafson. The director of the movie was Donald Petrie under Warner Bros. Picture and released in 1993.

The chemistry between Lemmon and Matthau never ceases to amaze anyone. The story doesn’t have a great plot and can even be considered as something mediocre. It offers the right amount of comedy, some drama, and a little bit of everything that you expect to see in a Walter / Lemmon pairing. Even though the plot of the movie could be considered as so-so, it turned out well due to the enigmatic performance and presence of the dynamic, funny duo. They had able to concoct the right formula to deliver an amazing result. The entire cast can’t help but follow the lead of the two gentlemen and the result of all the hard work is a remarkable film for the audience to enjoy time and again. To be blunt, the movie may have been a complete failure if other pair played the role of John and Max.

Grumpier Old Men

The sequel to the 1993 popular Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon movie has a title Grumpier Old Men and this time both old men need to put their heads together to save their favorite bait shop from turning into an exquisite Italian restaurant. Unfortunately, the new mistress of the place happens to have everything to lure the old man Max and catch his undivided attention.

The movie casts Ann-Margaret in the role of Ariel Truax, Kevin Pollak is Jacob Goldman, Burgess Meredith as Grandpa Gustafson, Daryl Hannah plays the role of Melanie Gustafson, and Sophia Loren is Maria Ragetti. This time, Howard Deutch directed the project under Warner Home Video and released in 1995.

The tandem of Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon once again proved that they may be old but they can still deliver the right amount of comedy and perfect blend of harmony. The movie may not be as funny as the first one but it is more touching. It is more about family and the deep bonds between the characters. It doesn’t have a complicated plot but no one can really say that it is something average. Each actor is just right for their role. Sophia Loren is a perfect epitome of timeless beauty, which makes Matthau’s character eventually forget all about his initial motive. The onscreen partnership of Lemmon and Matthau is impeccable. Whenever they appear together, it seems like it is impossible to view one without the other. Their body language and movement complement each other.


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