A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Odd Couple II reunites the stars and writer (Neil Simon) of the much-loved 1968 movie, picking up the infamous Oscar and Felix's lives 30 years later. Strong language is the main concern: It's frequent, mostly moderate, but does include two uses of "f--k," repeated use of "s--thead," the middle-finger gesture, and lots of name-calling. Two men brandish guns. A dead man's body (he just looks like he's sleeping) is manipulated for laughs. Played for comedy, men threaten to choke each other, and one does choke the other. There's some drinking and smoking. Some flirting with mild sexual innuendo and suggestive dancing are played for laughs. Some potty humor. Kids are unlikely to be entertained by the story of two elderly men traveling to a wedding. A few vague themes and messages are mostly specific to this friendship, so there's not much kids will relate to, even if they were somehow fans of the original movie or the TV series.
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What's the story?
THE ODD COUPLE II brings New York's most notorious roommates back together after 30 years. Sloppy, cantankerous Oscar's (Walter Matthau) son is marrying hypochondriac neatnik Felix's (Jack Lemmon) daughter. When the old frenemies run into each other (literally, of course) at the airport, they rent a car together and set out to drive across Southern California to the wedding. As the two quickly fall into their old patterns of bickering and griping, everything that can go wrong (and more) does. Can they make it to the wedding in time, and with their sanity intact?
Is it any good?
It's unfortunate that the last time these two comedy legends teamed up falls so short of showcasing their individual and collective genius. The flat, predictable script mostly rehashes old bits and doesn't offer the actors much to work with, but both Lemmon and Matthau inhabit their familiar skins comfortably. The buddy-picture road trip story is conventional and predictable. There really isn't much to interest kids here. The only thing The Odd Couple II has to offer, really, is a stroll down memory lane for fans of the original. And even the most ardent fans would be better off going back to the original if they're in the mood to take that stroll.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the strong language in The Odd Couple II. Is it realistic? Does it tell you something about the character or the situation, or does it seem like there's no real need for it?
Is there anyone who drives you crazy the way Oscar and Felix drive each other crazy? What are some positive things the relationship gives you?
Imagine you and those you're closest to 30 years from now. What will your lives, and relationships to each other, be like?
- In theaters: April 10, 1998
- On DVD or streaming: October 21, 1998
- Cast: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Christine Baranski
- Director: Howard Deutch
- Studios: Paramount Pictures, Cort/Madden Productions
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship
- Run time: 97 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: Brief strong language
- Last updated: February 20, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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