Some people see this as an inferior sequel to the first movie "Grumpy Old Men". I don't agree, i love the first one but i think this one is every bit as good and in some ways..even better than the original. Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon are my favorite comedy team. The Fortune Cookie is a classic and i also love "Buddy Buddy" and "The Odd Couple Parts 1 and 2 but the Grumpies hold a special place in my heart. I was personally hoping for another Grumpy movie but sadly we've lost both of these wonderful stars so that will never happen. At least we will always have these fine films to enjoy and treasure. I have them on Dvd and watch them regularly..they never fail to touch my heart and make me smile.
Sequels are rarely half as good as the original film. Matthau and Lennon would prove this at the tale end of their film partnership with THE ODD COUPLE PART II. But it has happened. ANOTHER THIN MAN is as good a film as THE THIN MAN. Vincent Minelli's follow up to FATHER OF THE BRIDE may lack the satire of weddings the original had, but FATHER'S LITTLE DIVIDEND is well made and entertaining in it's own right. And then there is this film. Of the first movie, GRUMPY OLD MEN, I have made a comment elsewhere. GRUMPIER OLD MEN is a neat follow-up, as we find how Max Goldman (Matthau) finds his new mate, Maria Ragetti (Sophia Loren). It also settles the future of Max's son Mayor Jacob Goldman (Kevin Pollak) and John Gustafson's (Lemmon's) daughter Melanie (Darryl Hannah), and gives a bitter-sweet farewell to John's father (Burgess Meredith).I think the reason the sequel works is that there is a sense of time and continuity here that is not usually found. In GRUMPY OLD MEN, the reactions of Lemmon and Matthau to the death of their close friend Chuck (Ossie Davis), who had only recently been their rival for Ariel (Ann-Margaret) showed them to be human beings - not just two good comic actors trading insults for yucks. Here, it is watching the final scenes of Grandpa Gustafson (ironically Burgess Meredith's final role - and a fittingly good one for that fine actor). In the first film Meredith was always acting like a wild authority figure: over ninety years old, but threatening to tan the hides of the middle aged Matthau and Lennon like they were still kids when he stops them fighting. Here we see him in several guises. He is a loving grandpa - he is seen telling Allie (Katie Sagona) the story of Goldilock and the Three Bears (with his own modern interpolations), and then singing "Dream a Little Dream of Me" to put her to sleep. He is vulgar, but in a loving, sensible way. When Allie swallows a quarter, he suggests that it is normal - all kids swallow or try to swallow coins - and one only should worry if the kid excretes two dimes and nickel. He loves sexual encounters (in the first film he suggests that if Lemmon and Matthau can't get Arial he can!). Here he meets somebody to romance (Anne Gilbert), and they have a nice time together. But it is a brief one. Having reached 95, God finally comes for Grandpa, and his death manages to bring the other characters from cross purpose quarrels to sanity. It also brings the sweet image of Gilbert depositing a rose over the spot that Grandpa's ashes are scattered.The continuity theme is also in the portion about "Catfish Hunter" the local lake legendary catfish. Grandpa tells John, at one point, that the catfish was old when he was a boy (which begs the question, why did they name the catfish after a major Yankee baseball player of the 1970 teams? - long after Grandpa's youth). The locals all hope to catch the fish and mount it on their walls. We see it at one point jumping late at night, alone, into the air and back into the late in the glorious moonlight - the monarch of the lake. But at the end, when the catfish is caught by Matthau and Lemmon together, Lemmon (probably influenced by Ann-Margaret, who did the same thing in the first film) gets Matthau to agree to return the catfish to the lake, where it can join Grandpa's ashes. So the legend is returned to it's base.Even in the final moments of the film, with another marriage and a joke reminiscent of the first film's conclusion, suggests continuity. So there is a type of structural vigor in the two films, that strengthens their stories and increases the viewers pleasure watching them. Yes indeed, this is one sequel that works very well.
"Grumpier Old Men" is the equally funny sequel to "Grumpy Old Men". Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau return as John and Max, the longtime neighbors who in this movie have reconciled their friendship. Ann-Margret is back as Ariel, John's new wife. So is Burgess Meredith as Lemmon's horny dad, and also returning are Daryl Hannah and Kevin Pollak as Lemmon's daughter and Matthau's son who are now engaged to each other and their fathers help them out to plan their wedding with some bizarre ideas. But the real scene stealer in "Grumpier Old Men" is the wonderful Sophia Loren as the new Italian woman in Wabasha, Minnesota. Loren plans to turn the grumpy old men's beloved bait shop into a 'ristorante' as she puts it. The grumps don't like that one bit and try to drive her out of town, but ends up falling for Matthau. It's great to see Loren get an opportunity to do comedy, and she gets her share of big laughs throughout the film. This film and it's predecessor once again will remind you of what a great team Lemmon and Matthau made. ***1/2 (out of four)
This movie is downright hilarious with tons of good one-liners. Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon (may they both rest in peace) are two of the funniest actors in history. No one else could have played Max & John. Sophia Loren is still one of the most beautiful women in movie history! One of the funniest scenes is when she says "Holy moly" after being kissed by Max. Watch this movie. You will enjoy it, if you have a sense of humor!
A sequel to the thoroughly enjoyable Grumpy Old Men, 'Grumpier Old Men' is A Sweet Film, with Lively Performances. The sequel has the spirit of its prequel & the amazing cast, led by the impeccable talents of the Late/Great Jack Lemmon & the Late/Great Walter Matthau, are in full form! 'Grumpier Old Men' Synopsis: John and Max resolve to save their beloved bait shop from turning into an Italian restaurant, just as its new female owner catches Max's attention.'Grumpier Old Men' works well as a romantic-comedy, as it has moments of humour & subtle romance. I loved the prequel & I must say, the sequel doesn't fail to deliver. The film has sustained its energy & wit, that one would expect from it.Mark Steven Johnson's Screenplay is entertaining, although initially the pace is slightly slow. Howard Deutch's Direction is top-class. Tak Fujimoto's Cinematography is good. Editing also is ably done. Performance-Wise: Lemmon & Matthau shine all through. Its their sheer on-screen chemistry, that alone is worth watching the entire film. Sophia Loren is top-notch. Ann-Margret is impressive. Kevin Pollak & Daryl Hannah leave a mark. Late/Great Burgess Meredith is memorable in his part.On the whole, 'Grumpier Old Men' is a smooth, relaxing watch.