Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Buddy Buddy (1981)

Category: Reviews

Buddy Buddy

The popular saying “old is gold” is particularly true when watching Hollywood comedy. The 1981 film Buddy Buddy is an example, a thoroughly enjoyable comedy, having character, plot, and plenty of nervous motion—things bound to come with the popular on-screen pair of Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. Lemmon alone is usually enough to crack you up; but to make sure your resistant side lets go of solemnity, Matthau has been added.

So Matthau plays Trabucco, a cool-headed mercenary, skilled in disguise, hired to kill three witnesses to a big fraud case. He kills two of them and is one step away from his final target, retaining full control, until a jittery Victor Clooney (Jack Lemmon) rents the room next to his in the hotel from where he is to shoot his target down. Clooney’s marital life is near dead due to his poor sexual performance, and his wife is taking lessons at a sex therapist’s clinic. Trabucco realizes that to accomplish his mission, he has to get rid of Clooney. But can he, when the latter has already embraced him as a “buddy”? Readers can imagine the rest.

Buddy Buddy is from the era when Hollywood legends were still around to keep quality comedy alive, with crazy characters that could be made entreatingly believable without making things look forced. It is also the last film directed by the acclaimed director-producer Billy Wilder. Comedy and classic Hollywood lovers will surely enjoy watching Buddy Buddy; but especially good for writers seeking inspiration in creating light, humorous situations (in writing, that is).