by Anthony King
When I hear the name Walter Matthau, I immediately think of his longtime friend and frequent co-star Jack Lemmon, with whom he appeared in 10 films. The second name that comes to mind is the brilliant writer of stage and screen, Neil Simon. In Matthau's lengthy and storied career he appeared in six Neil Simon works, starting with The Odd Couple in 1968 (with Lemmon), then the original adaptations of Plaza Suite and The Sunshine Boys, followed by California Suite, I Ought to Be in Pictures, and finally, and unfortunately, The Odd Couple II in 1998. Matthau and Simon go hand-in-hand.
Also co-starring is the stunningly beautiful Ann-Margret, more than a decade before falling for Matthau again in Grumpy Old Men. As Tucker's once-a-week girlfriend, Steffy, she plays the quiet, patient, all-knowing, moral center to this story about a father and daughter trying to reconnect after almost 20 years. Steffy always offers a shoulder for Libby to cry on, and an ear to bend when Herbert is frustrated and confused. She deserves to be treated better than she is, but, as is the case with anything revolving around Ann-Margret, everything would fall apart without her.