[Screen It]


(1997) (Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau) (PG-13)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Mild None Mild None None
Mild None None None Moderate
Smoking Tense Family
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Comedy: Two old friends pose as dance instructors on a cruise ship while trying to romance single, rich women.
Herb (JACK LEMMON) and Charlie (WALTER MATTHAU) have been lifelong friends since Herb married Charlie's sister many years ago. While Charlie is a habitual bad luck loser at gambling, Herb has become a recluse since his wife's death a few years past. In need of money, Charlie comes up with a new get rich scheme and signs up Herb and himself as dance instructors on a cruise ship. Herb wants to leave the ship once he learns of his new "job," but finds himself stuck on board as the ship sets out to sea. The tyrannical cruise director, Gil Godwyn (BRENT SPINER), spots the two as imposters right away and isn't happy about having them on board and warns them of fraternizing with the guests. Once at sea, Charlie moves into high gear as he plans on sweet-talking his way into a rich, single woman's life hoping that his future bride-to-be will take care of his financial problems. He sets his sights on Texas divorcee Liz LaBreche (DYAN CANNON), a wealthy oil woman who already has another suitor, Collin Carswell (EDWARD MULHARE). Meanwhile, a vacationing widow, Vivian (GLORIA DEHAVEN), has her eye on Herb, but he still longs for his dead wife. As the men try to figure out how to deal with the new women in their lives, they must also deal with Godwyn who, when not trying to impress the ship's owner, Mrs. Carruthers (RUE MCCLANAHAN), is trying to prove that these two older men aren't real dance instructors.
Unless they're fans of Lemmon or Matthau, it's not very likely.
For language and sex-related humor.
  • JACK LEMMON plays a widower who still longs for his dead wife and is reluctant to forge any new romantic relationships.
  • WALTER MATTHAU plays a habitual gambler who's always looking for the next get rich quick scheme. In this latest attempt, he often lies about who he is in order to pursue his goal.


    OUR TAKE: 5 out of 10
    In their eighth outing paired together, Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau are once again easy on the eyes and ticklish to the funny bone. While this isn't their best collaborative production, and isn't the "Grumpy Old Men at Sea" film that many will think will be, it's still an old-fashioned and moderately enjoyable film. The humor is more subtle than one would expect and the entire production is rather low-key and that gives this film its old-fashioned feel. There are some funny visual moments, however, such as when Lemmon, the accomplished dancer, must teach Matthau, the man with two left feet, how to dance. Matthau's inability to get his feet to follow the instructions is often hilarious. So are some lines of dialogue, and the film ends with the now standard out-takes during the credit roll that provide some of the film's biggest laughs. Lemmon and Matthau don't really provide anything new here (as they did in the "Grumpy" films) and play off their old "Odd Couple" relationship. Matthau is the "wild," carefree type who irritates Lemmon, but in the end the two always end up caring for, and helping the other. It's nice to see Dyan Cannon playing against her most recent stereotyping the shrieking woman and she comes across as pleasant, romantic character. The rest of the cast is competent, but not outstanding which is what one can say about the direction and script. You've seen it all before, but it still comes across as a pleasant experience. For that reason, we give the film a 5 out of 10.
    Beyond the language (3 "s" words and some slang terms), some implied sexual activity and a few lines of suggestive dialogue, this film is rather tame and leans more toward the lesser side of its PG-13 rating. Matthau's character is a chronic gambler and liar, but none of it's played too seriously and he certainly never does anything maliciously. There's some drinking and minor violence, but many of the categories are void of, or contain little objectionable material. While it's doubtful many children will want to see this film, you may want to read through the content just in case they, or you, want to see this film.

  • Herb drinks wine by himself on his anniversary.
  • Charlie and Herb drink cocktails on a plane.
  • Herb and Vivian drink champagne as the ship leaves port.
  • People drink on board the ship in several scenes (champagne, wine, mixed drinks) and Charlie brings Liz another cocktail in one scene.
  • A dance instructor asks Liz's mother, "To what do I owe this pleasure?" after she cuts in to dance with him. She replies, "Two vodka stingers."
  • Ms. Carruthers meets Godwyn at her door with glasses of champagne.
  • Vivian has a drink in a bar waiting for Herb.
  • Liz's mother acts a little drunk while drinking a beer.
  • In the out-takes (during the end credits) Matthau jokingly asks Lemmon if he has any crack (cocaine).
  • None.
  • Charlie signs up Herb to be a dance instructor without telling him about that or about the financial penalty they'll have to pay if they don't perform as expected.
  • Charlie's also a gold digger as he wants to find rich, single women onboard the boat to ease his financial problems.
  • Charlie often refers to women as "broads" and "dames," and says about another, "Did you see the chassis on that broad?"
  • Charlie often lies about who he is, what he does, and for a while fakes a leg injury so as not to have to dance. He also fakes a phone call so that his competition misses a boat ride.
  • Charlie takes clothes from his suite mate's room and wears them.
  • Godwyn kisses up to the owner of the ship, but later calls her an "old bag" behind her back.
  • None.
  • None.
  • Phrases: "A good fart will give you a concussion" (about being in a small room), "Schmuck," "Idiot," "Moron," "Freagin'," "Sucker," "Kiss ass," "Pissing match," "Imbecile," "Screw up," "Shut up," "Balls" (testicles), "Geezer," "Old bag," and "Meat head."
  • Charlie is a compulsive gambler and occasional liar.
  • Charlie fakes a leg injury to get out of his required duties.
  • None.
  • None.
  • None.
  • 3 "s" words, 4 slang terms for male genitals (the "p" word and "d*ckhead"), 15 hells, 11 "ass" words (3 using "hole"), 5 damns, 2 craps, 1 S.O.B., and 8 uses of "Oh my God," 3 each of "Oh God" and "Oh my Lord," 2 uses each of "God" and "My God," and 1 use of "For God's sakes" as exclamations.
  • Charlie tells his competitor that he went to "F-U" college, and in another scene Herb appears to silently mouth that same phrase to Charlie.
  • Charlie mentions that they might "get lucky" with women on the cruise.
  • A couple on their anniversary leave to go and have sex in a lifeboat (implied and not explicitly said), and later, the lifeboat is seen rocking back and forth.
  • Charlie says (about Liz's butt), "With an ass so beautiful, it's a shame she has to sit down on it."
  • Liz walks out in a bikini (showing just a bit of cleavage) and Charlie stares at her chest.
  • A female dance instructor shows some cleavage and several of the male instructors comment on admiring their view of her rear end.
  • Charlie tells Liz that he's still waiting for his sexual prime to occur and when she asks him when it will, he looks at his watch and says "five minutes."
  • Liz mentions that she left her oil industry husband after she found that he was out "drilling other wells."
  • Liz wears a dress that shows some cleavage.
  • Ms. Carruthers meets Godwyn at her door, wearing non-revealing lingerie and holds glasses of champagne and it's implied that they have sex (he's seen the next morning very disheveled).
  • Charlie takes Liz back to Godwyn's room (acting like it's his), and they fall to the floor and some giggling is heard as is Liz saying, "Oh Charlie." Although nothing is seen, it's implied that they have sex.
  • In the out-takes (during the end credits), the following is heard:
  • Mentioning humpback whales, Lemmon says, "Let's talk about humping."
  • Matthau says "I promised those chest butchers I'd whip it (presumably his privates) out."
  • Matthau says, "So I slipped her one in the lifeboat when a passenger asked for an escort."
  • Matthau mentions a woman trying to "grab my thing" and "I never had a better piece of ass."
  • A man on board has an unlit cigar and a woman is seen with a cigarette in a long holder.
  • Although it happened several years ago, the impact of Herb's wife's death is still felt by him.
  • Acting and lying about being someone that you're not (ie. Impersonating others).
  • Trying to get rich quick, instead of slowly working for wealth.
  • A street performer punches Godwyn in the gut after he pulls the man's mask off. Godwyn is then put on a running bull and the top of his mask catches on fire as he passes under a burning bar.
  • Acting like a chiropractor to fix Charlie's fake injuries, Herb yanks Charlie's back, squashes his legs, and makes many parts of his friend's body crack.
  • There's some brief footage seen on TV from the movie "Predator" where the large alien creature pins Schwarzenegger to a rock wall.

  • Reviewed June 24, 1997

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