Search and Destroy: Neil Simon films

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I was talking to a friend of mine the other day, and they asked me about him, mainly in regards to what Neil Simon movies would I recommend to buy or rent. Truth told I haven’t actually seen that many of his films (I’ve read more of the plays, but that’s another thread and board).

Still, I’d say Search some of the obvious ones (which BTW I have seen), like “The Odd Couple” and “The Goodbye Girl.” Then there is “The Heartbreak Kid,” which Simon adapted (and therefore gained his name before the title in the credits and the ads) and is Searchable too. Bend the rules a little, and throw in “The Apartment” for a search item as well, because Simon turned it into the musical “Promises, Promises” with Hal David and Burt Bacharach.

Destroy:“The Slugger’s Wife” was pretty lame, and although I haven’t seen ‘em, I’d throw the remakes in as well (the second “Out of Towners”, and the TV versions of “Sunshine Boys,” “Goodbye Girl” etc.) There's gotta be more crap.

What say you?

Doobie Keebler (Charles McCain), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 23:46 (fifteen years ago) link

search : plaza suite's first and last third = absolutely fantastic.
the bit in the middle sort of wrecks the perfection.
california suite also for (surprisngly) the jane fonda bit which is totally at odds with the larks and prat falls that bedevil the rest of the film. oh and the maggie smith/michael caine bit also obv.
also search biloxi blues. haven't seen it for years but as a 16 yr old, boy oh boy was it ace. sunshine boys has it's moments, but the 'sketches' that the comedy geniuses perform are dire and tedious to sit through, burns is funny, mathau chews the scenery.
the goodbye girl is ridiculously over-rated and schmaltzy, dreyfuss is creepy and there's no chemistry between him and the girl (cant remember her name).

piscesboy, Saturday, 23 October 2004 09:30 (fifteen years ago) link

Best films Simon had anything to do with that I've seen are Heartbreak Kid and Sunshine Boys. Odd Couple is good too. I remember Seems Like Old Times being OK if you like Hawn or Chase in their prime, but haven't seen it in 20+ years.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 27 October 2004 14:19 (fifteen years ago) link

eight years pass...

The sketch in the sunshine boys is surely intentionally so?

I always wonder whether burns' character is awful or not in it, i turn it round every viewing.

Still a masterpiece, for all that i prefer the odd couple.

boyce lair (darraghmac), Saturday, 18 May 2013 01:16 (six years ago) link

one year passes...

Watched Murder By Death today. Had I not been at all familiar with Simon before, this movie would have lead me to assume that he was just an off-brand Mel Brooks.

MaudAddam (cryptosicko), Saturday, 10 January 2015 23:51 (four years ago) link

well that's where the money was in the late '70s

touch of a love-starved cobra (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 11 January 2015 19:01 (four years ago) link

three years pass...

RIP

Did I miss any good plays in the last 35 years? Skipped em all.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 26 August 2018 17:32 (one year ago) link

I would rather eat glass than watch The Goodbye Girl again.

The Silky Veils of Alfred (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 26 August 2018 17:34 (one year ago) link

i would love to have seen Carney and Matthau in the original Odd Couple production.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 26 August 2018 18:07 (one year ago) link

Matthau trying to dress a comotose hooker in California Suite is one of the funniest scenes in anything ever.

Britain's Sexiest Cow (jed_), Sunday, 26 August 2018 18:21 (one year ago) link

nifty parody of late '70s Simon here: "Nutcracker Suite." Alfred will love Rick Moranis as Dreyfuss.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBRCbRtNuNU

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 27 August 2018 03:40 (one year ago) link

It starts at 24:00

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 27 August 2018 03:41 (one year ago) link

Biloxi Blues was good

. (Michael B), Monday, 27 August 2018 07:33 (one year ago) link

Not enough love for The Out Towners, a great New York movie and quite savage in the torment it inflicts on Lemmon and Dennis.

Ward Fowler, Monday, 27 August 2018 19:42 (one year ago) link

i would love to have seen Carney and Matthau in the original Odd Couple production.

Back in the '70s, my parents saw Randall & Klugman in a touring production. Apparently they would go on the road w/it during breaks in the production of the TV show.

Ubering With The King (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 27 August 2018 19:52 (one year ago) link

oooh, I haaated The Out Towners the one time I saw it on TV. One joke over and over, and Sandy Dennis at her most numbing. (v much invoked at the start of that SCTV skit above)

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 27 August 2018 20:10 (one year ago) link

*Out of Towners

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 27 August 2018 20:10 (one year ago) link

very tough but fair 2009 dissection by David Edelstein

Recent star-laden Broadway revivals of Barefoot in the Park and The Odd Couple have been embarrassments, prompting the Times’s Ben Brantley to write that “early Neil Simon retains its original freshness about as well as sushi”—a bit of bitchery made more devastating because you can imagine it popping up in a Simon play. (Something like: “Has it held up?” “Like 50-year-old sushi.” “They didn’t have sushi 50 years ago. You ate undercooked fish, you got tapeworm.”)

http://nymag.com/arts/theater/features/60154/

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 27 August 2018 21:08 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

Rewatched The Odd Couple for the first time in ~25 years. Matthau's performance is really a joy for the ages. Lemmon is better than his mid-career usual, and everyone carried over from Broadway (the Pigeon sisters and the poker buddies) is perfect.

Also I forgot who Felix moves in with at the end.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 7 October 2018 14:07 (one year ago) link

eagerly awaiting your thoughts on Sweet Charity morbius, whenever you get around to it

flappy bird, Sunday, 7 October 2018 22:46 (one year ago) link

otm on all counts morbs

but, verdict?

Dmac TT (darraghmac), Sunday, 7 October 2018 23:05 (one year ago) link

"now it's gah-bage"

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 8 October 2018 04:30 (one year ago) link

btw I erred -- the only one of the movie's poker buddies who'd been in the Broadway cast was John Fiedler, the mousy guy you may know from the first Newhart sitcom.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 8 October 2018 16:16 (one year ago) link

As well as Star Trek:TOS and Winnie the Pooh cartoons

Harper Valley CTA-102 (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 11 October 2018 19:53 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

Sunshine Boys is still the laugh machine Eric H secretly knows it is

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 22 November 2018 12:14 (eleven months ago) link


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