Saturday, 20 August 2011
JACK LEMMON and WALTER MATTHAU - Grumpy, Odd, and Loved.
They were a gift. A present from the Gods; the likes of which we'll never see again. If they made a new film together now I would literally sprint to the cinema to see it. In fact, I'd find out where they're shooting the movie and I'd demand a job. Sure, I'd love to direct them, but I'd be happy to get the coffee, shine their shoes, whatever it takes.
Just to be near them. They make my heart and soul fly and soar --- I just wish I could be there, just for a moment. Don't you think that would be magnificent?
I watched 'Out To Sea' tonight -- it's a film that, with any other actors, would be average at best. But with Jack and Walter, every moment is golden. On their own, they're riveting. Together, they transcend. Watching them together is pure joy -- every single frame.
We are lucky that they did so much work together. Especially in the final years of their careers and lives --- 'Out To Sea', 'Grumpy Old Men', 'Grumpier Old Men', 'The Odd Couple 2' - these films weren't masterpieces in any cinematic sense. The plots aren't groundbreaking. Each film is about two men at war with each other-- usually because of personality clashes, and women.
It never seems right that people die, does it? That they just vanish. With film stars, we're lucky. Because they don't have to be alive to make us laugh, cry and smile. That's the thing when you watch these guys -- they're so real and present, but at the same time you feel that sad pang because you know we don't have them anymore.
By the end, the Lemmon/Matthau thing could easily have been a predictable shtick, but somehow they kept the heart. How? Because that's all they had: HEART. Two beautiful souls that fate decided should get into the the business of acting, and somehow they found their way to each other. The fortune cookie that we were dealt was a fabulous one, and this odd couple went on to entertain us for many years.
I crave videos like this. They're aging and they're going deaf and they're forgetting their lines -- but they're amazing. Hilariously funny and more alive than I think I've ever been.
Their definitive collaboration is seen as 'The Odd Couple' - and I totally respect that, it's one of the all-time great comedies. But for me, I can't get enough of them in the comedies they did together towards the end. They were carefree and fun. They brought a warmth, wisdom and ease to what they did which is rare to see in film. The film's glide along effortlessly because you are in the presence of two truly fantastic people.