ODD COUPLE II
About The Production
Filming began June 9 in Los Angeles and continued throughout the summer on a series of scruffy, agricultural locations in Southern and Central California
Filming began June 9 in Los Angeles and continued throughout the
summer on a series of scruffy, agricultural locations in Southern
and Central California. To reach the fictional town of San Malina,
the filmmakers of "Neil Simon's The Odd Couple II" took
their cast and cameras on the road, covering a variety of California
terrain in locales such as Guadalupe, Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo,
Palmdale, Lancaster, Shafter, Arcadia, Pomona, and Hidden Valley.
After navigating miles of convoluted Los Angeles freeways, the
mishapprone pair find themselves endlessly and relentlessly
lost in the seeming vastness of the California countryside, driving
and drifting by hundreds of miles of desert, mountains and rolling
hills. They pass thousands of acres of Joshua trees, scrub oak,
vineyards, fields and fields of cotton, broccoli and corn.
Even after accidentally destroying their car, Oscar and Felix
forge on; hitching rides from fruit trucks and perhaps the world's
oldest and slowest Rolls Royce. Former straphangers on the New
York transit system, Felix and Oscar are nothing if not fishes
out of water. True to their personality types, the obsessive Felix
remains steadfastly focused on the goal while the nonchalant Oscar
improvises his way from calamity to catastrophe.
"In the story, everything that could go wrong does,"
explains director Howie Deutch. "And every obstacle they
have to overcome is just another log on the fire. Felix gets to
drive Oscar insane, which is his favorite thing in the world to
do. And, Oscar is excited by the adventure of taking this trip,
being in the action. It puts him back where he hasn't been for
years' making life miserable for Felix."
One of their misadventures involves a dalliance with two women
that Oscar picks up in a restaurant, the lovely Thelma and Holly,
described by the trepidacious Felix as "a couple of middleaged
bikers" Played by Christine Baranski and Jean Smart, these
gals arc the antithesis of the chirpy, sentimental Pigeon sisters
of the original play.
"They are raucous, raunchy, lowbrow characters,"
joyfully claims the elegant Christine Baranski. Jean Smart playfully
boasts, "We decided that Thelma and Holly were a bad '90's
version of the Pigeon sisters. We are vulturesthe Buzzard
sisters." Just dancing with them gets Felix and Oscar in
Producer Robert W. Cort observes, "Comedy comes out of crisis.
Neil Simon has brought these New Yorkbred characters to
an environment unnatural to them in which they feel the least
comfortable, look funniest, and are totally, literally lost. Their
predicament brings out, to the extreme, their inherent characteristics.
A great piece of the fun is to watch the effect of time. If you
were precise when you were 45, you are going to be precise
to the last decimal point when you are 75. If you were
sloppy when you were 45, you are going to be pretty careless
when you're 75."
"Oscar and Felix are completely contrapuntal people,"
director Deutch underscores. "These guys are yin and yang.
But they're so dimensional, exposed and relatable. People always
see themselves in Neil Simon's characters because of their humanity."
"For all intents and purposes:' says Cort, "with the
original in the '60's, Neil Simon created the prototype of all
'The Odd Couple' comedies we have in the last third of this century.
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