Grumpy Old Men ★★★½

A surprise hit for stars Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau that demonstrated the lasting box office appeal of their pairing even into their seventies, Grumpy Old Men is a wonderfully funny and sometimes touching story that makes excellent use of the comedy duo’s inimitable chemistry. Also counting among its cast a cackling Burgess Meredith as Lemmon’s character’s father and Ann-Margret as the new addition to the neighbourhood with whom the feuding old neighbours both immediately fall in love, it’s a film that capitalises well upon the comedic potential it comes loaded with. Even so, there’s a strangely affecting underlying sadness to proceedings, a reluctant acknowledgement of mortality and the inevitability of physical decline that roots the laughs in something more tragic. Lemmon and Matthau are both as good as ever they were, and it’s delightful to see in the brilliant closing credit outtakes that they enjoy each other’s company just as much as we do.