The Odd Couple, Essay Example


What are the odds of two men completely different from each other to be living together in an apartment and sharing with each other two completely different sets of lifestyle? The era of the 1960’s in the film industry proved to be a decade of discovery and exploration. While reality was one of the particular backgrounds of most movies, it could not be denied that answering particular ‘what if’s’ has become a common ground of distinction among movies produced during the 1960’s. The story of Felix Ungar and Oscar Madison reflected the different possibilities that defined the occurrence of two straight men living together in an apartment. Neil Simon, the story’s creator basically saw the possibility of making a reality that is based on humor showing the society how it could be efficient that two men who are both divorced end up together enjoying life like brothers. In the discussion that follows, the success of the story’s film and play version shall be compared based on value and audience impact especially in relation to how these forms of art were able to identify particular possibilities of reality that could describe what men really are, what they want, and how they might likely be able to live with complications and be able to survive along with it.

Background of Story

While the 1960’s proved to be an era that is dedicated towards development, a new perception on matters and other issues as such, it also proved to be an era where marriages likely began to fail. It was an in-thing back then that couples enter marriage as a form of contract that binds them forever. However, the likely complications of gender-differences caused the condition of marriages to rot. This is where the idea of Neil Simon comes in. Two men, divorced from their wives have found comfort in living together in an apartment simply because they had no choice. The extreme differences of the characteristics of the individuals put together make several points of the story hilarious enough to mirror the reality about men.

Elements of Comparison

To compare the two works of art in this discussion, there are three points to consider: one is the story plot, two is the setting, and three is the message. When it comes to the story plot, the play specifically concentrated on noting what particular capabilities and abilities the two characters have. Oscar, the messy one, is noted to be fun loving and easily likeable by others. On the other end, Felix is a neat freak that simply cannot find good in anything. Perhaps having OCD, Felix continues to be frustrated over everything that does not go his way. The two separate attitudes of the characters were shown in the play as the turns of the events change especially highlighting the encounter of these men with two other women who they supposedly tried to date. The movie on the other hand tries to expand such matter through actually including particular scenes aside from that of the sisters’ company.

When it comes to setting, it could be agreed upon that the presentation of the story in a play involves a more confined space therefore imposing on the need to make sure that every scene fits within the area allotted for performance. Since the play is also a live performance, it is obvious how the characters are right on the dot when they present their lines and their actions. The movie’s settings were considerably more elaborate. The director was able to expand the story line for the sake of increasing the movie’s value for its viewers. Lighting and background setting were precise even though some scenarios were actually shot within the studio.

The message of the play, as mentioned earlier is focused on why men of two different backgrounds and different attitudes have a better chance to stay together as friends even though there may be conflicts when it comes to their attitudes. On the other end, the movie expands its concentration from such particular ideology. It manifests that if two men could actually live together and be understanding enough to know that the other compliments one’s shortcomings, would it not be possible for men and women to do the same. The movie extends the message of creating a form of notion on whether or not men and women should actually resort to divorce rather than setting things straight, understanding each other and accepting the fact that one cannot be just the same as the other.


The story that the play and the movie is grounded upon is indeed comedic in presentation. Nevertheless, it deals with the most specific concerns in the society which is the hope of establishing better relationships between two people. Men and women are supposed to be sharing good team work, however, because of gender issues, such collaboration has become specifically problematic and is now being seen to be one of the reasons why human relationships have failed to retain its integrity in different constitutes of connection. More than just to entertain, the story tries to outline one of the most pressing issues in the human society during the 1960’s up to the present era. The comparison between the movie and the play presented in this discussion simply points out that the constraints of space and possibly the difference between live and recorded presentation makes the differential pattern of presenting the message that the story specifically wants to send out to the public.