RR Films: Odd Couples

In an effort to keep the duck hobbling forward, those good(?) Christian ladies, Theresa and Arlene, have formed an unholy alliance. Lord help us!

But sometimes two people with different agendas or perspectives (or genders or personalities) can create something positive, or at least fun… So let’s hear about films starring odd couples (a Shoey-guru’d topic on the original RR).

I’ll go for Mary & Max, a bittersweet animation about a young girl from Australia and an old man from New York who strike up a curious long-distance connection. As actually happened.

What films about odd couples would you recommend?

30 thoughts on “RR Films: Odd Couples

  1. You could pretty much nominate anything featuring Laurel and Hardy, but I’m not going to. The obvious one would be the actual The Odd Couple with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, but that really would be pointless.

    There are plenty of “buddy” films with oddly-matched pairs of protagonists, but, again, I think too obvious, so I am going to nom a science fiction film, Enemy Mine, about a human space fighter pilot and his alien counterpart, who crash land on an uninhabited and inhospitable planet and are forced to come to terms to survive. It was a bit of a box office disaster, but I really liked it.

    • I deliberately went for a topic with plenty of scope this week, Carole, in a bid to reassure myself that more than 5 people are interested in the thread… 😉 But well done, I’ve never even heard of Enemy Mine!

  2. Spoiled rotten for choice for this topic and tempted to go for Pulp Fiction, which is chock full of odd couples.

    But instead i’ll go for Belle de Jour, where wealthy bored doctor’s wife Catherine Deneuve gets involved with a bit of rough, with disasterous results.

  3. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, but you think it’s a pig, then it’s a pig.

    I’ll come back on the film, all I can think of is “Up”, with the old man and the young boy who are thrown together in various weird and wonderful adventures.

  4. A bit easier than last week’s topic and one of my 2 suggestions is a film I stumbled on last week on some obscure bloody TV channel (although I had seen it many years ago) namely “Midnight Run” with Robert de Niro and Charles Grodin. De Niro plays Jack Walsh, a bounty hunter who is sent to find and return bail jumper and former Mafia accountant Jonathan Mardukas (Grodin). However he isn’t the only one after Mardukas, the FBI, Mafia and another bounty hunter are also trying to stop Walsh claim his 100 grand for returning his target to LA. The interplay between de Niro and Grodin is what makes the film and although I didn’t like it at first it definitely grows on you. Funny and entertaining.
    My second recommend is “Sideways” which is one of my 2 or 3 favourite films since 2000. It “stars” Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church as a couple of college mates who reunite for a week’s holiday/wine tasting trip around California because Church is getting married. It’s a difficult film to do justice to in words as there is so much going on but it is in equal measures funny and profound and tragic, with marvellous performances and a wonderful score. It sounds like a cliche but “all life is here” as they say. If you’ve never seen it I urge you to do so !

    • Sideways has actually been on my bucket list, but i haven’t gotten to it yet. You remind me that i need to try.

    • Midnight Run was one of my initial thoughts, too. It is a very entertaining film and one of the very few non-Scorsese-directed films in which Robert de Niro is actually good.
      Sideways didn’t grab me at all though.

      • I agree re the de Niro comment Chris but I’m amazed you didn’t find anything good in Sideways as I think it addresses a lot of modern man’s dilemmas/problems. The Paul Giamatti character is quite Woody Allenesque so if you’re not a fan then I guess that would be a problem.

        Amylee, pleased to help, do try to see it if you can.

        • Loved Sideways. I had to work with a difficult client who was a bit of a “wine snob”. I asked if she’d seen Sideways. To my surprise she rented it and we managed to form a working relationship based on adapting “I’m not drinking any fucking Merlot” to situations where we disagreed. “Okay, No going to the dark side.”

        • I wanted to like it, having enjoyed other Payne films and really liking Paul Giamatti, but it just didn’t click with me. I couldn’t jump over the line from not liking the main characters into feeling empathy for them (Payne’s habitual methodology). I much preferred the women characters, which is probably true in real life if I’m honest…..

  5. Early Tarantino films always had lots of odd couples. Max and Jackie are my favourite and he meets her for the first time as Bloodstone’s Natural High is playing, IIRC. A beautiful high! Romance.

  6. I think I’m repeating myself here but what the hell……

    A Pigeon Sat on a Branch, Reflecting on Existence

    The two main characters are a very odd couple indeed but there are a few others along the way.

  7. “Uncle” films… Jacques Tati, Mon Oncle the classic here. Takeshi Kitano’s Kikujiro’s Summer is a lovely homage and a fine film in its own right.
    “Quirky” relationships with damaged partners… Hal Hartley’s Trust, and Godard’s A bout de Souffle.
    Love overcoming non-compatible operating systems- Wall-E.

    And if we’re doing ducks then Groucho Marx wooing Margaret Dumont in Duck Soup.

    “Will you marry me? Did he leave you any money?
    Answer the second question first..”

  8. Without thinking about this a great deal I’m going to suggest Out of Sight. First; the David Holmes soundtrack is amazing. Second (& more to the point here) the pairing of George Clooney’s bank robber, Jack and Jennifer Lopez as Federal Marshal, Karen prickles and fizzes with chemistry when they should be ill-suited. I never tire of this film.

  9. If anyone missed it last year, Hunt for the Wilderpeople was just great. A grumpy old man that has just lost his wife and a not-that-bad-at-all hip-hop loving bad boy foster kid go for a long walk in the New Zealand wilderness. Super funny and touching at the same time.

  10. Lost in Translation – a very modern and quite sweet love story that never gets consummated. Bill Murray’s jaded celebrity and Scarlet Johanssen’s lonely, bored ingenue. It’s possibly not a love story at all, more about finding friendship in the funniest places, but its a film i love (with a brilliant soundtrack) and they very much should be considered an odd-couple.

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