“We’re all out of Corn Flakes. F.U.”

Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon in Neil Simon’s <span style=The Odd Couple, directed by Gene Saks.">

Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon in Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple, directed by Gene Saks.

Felix and Oscar. Ungar and Madison. The hypochondriac neat-freak and the insensitive slob. For an “odd couple,” these two crackpots are just so perfect together. One of Neil Simon’s biggest successes, The Odd Couple, was inspired by Simon’s brother, who had moved in with an utterly incompatible buddy after his divorce. The 1965 play about mismatched, maritally incompetent roommates was a smash hit, winning two Tonys. Although the TV version was immensely popular, it was the 1968 film version that truly imprinted those characters on our collective memory. Walter Matthau, who starred in the play, reprised the role of sportswriter-schlub Oscar Madison, while Jack Lemmon stepped into the over-wrought skin of newswriter Felix Ungar. Together with a bunch of wise-ass poker buddies and the upstairs neighbors—the “Cuckoo” Pigeon sisters—Felix and Oscar run riot with their idiosyncracies. The two roomies drive everyone they come into contact with, especially themselves, absolutely crazy, constantly trying to curb the other’s annoying behavior, whether it’s Oscar’s smoking and general uncleanliness, or Felix’s absurd sinus-clearing. The same personality traits that drove their former spouses to throw them out have these two at one another’s throat, but, as Oscar finally admits, “It takes two to ruin a marriage.”

The Odd Couple will be presented as part of the monthly Silver Screen Classic Movie Series at the Auburn Library, 350 Nevada Street in Auburn. For more information, call (530) 878-9738, or visit the series’ official Web site at www.auburnsilverscreen.com.