Grumpy Old Men (1993)

Before Mark Steven Johnson made Daredevil and Ghost Rider, he wrote this movie. It reunites The Odd Couple team of Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon, pretty much letting them run the movie as Max Goldman and John Gustafson Jr., two neighbors who have been at war as long as they can remember.

Now, the arrival of Ariel Truax (Ann-Margaret) creates an even bigger battle, as her beauty and charm is desired by both men. There’s also plenty of great lines for Burgess Meredith as Lemmon’s father (he must have had him when he was 17, given their age difference) and the improbable, near science fiction writing as Kevin Pollak somehow scores Daryl Hannah.

Buck Henry has a nice turn as an IRS man and hey — Christopher McDonald plays a jerk. I mean, is anybody better at it?

This was directed by Donald Petrie, who has sadly infiltrated my DVD player more times than I’d like to claim, thanks to movies like Opportunity KnocksMystic Pizza and Miss Congeniality.

Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis were strongly considered for the leads, which would have made this a very different movie.

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