Ever since the days of vaudeville the funniest comic duos have always been odd couples: humorously mismatched temperaments, body types, and personalities. The classic screen teams have been no exception. Consider the straight man/funny man dynamics between Laurel and Hardy, Hope and Crosby, Martin and Lewis, Abbott and Costello, Wilder and Pryor. These opposites don’t simply attract, they spark and bounce off each other, and the results can be hilarious. There’s a basic formula to the odd-couple comedy, one nearly identical to that of the classic screwball comedy: our comedians often “meet cute,” spend most of the film driving each other crazy, then wind up — well, if not exactly in each other’s arms, then at least embracing as buddies. This August, the Dryden Theatre celebrates the odd couple with four of its more recent incarnations, including a bounty hunter and his prisoner, and one seriously dysfunctional doctor-patient relationship.
Thursday, August 9, 8:30 p.m.
What About Bob?
(Frank Oz, US 1991, 99 min.)
Thursday, August 16, 8 p.m.
(Martin Brest, US 1988, 126 min.)
Thursday, August 23, 8:30 p.m.
(Walter Hill, US 1982, 96 min.)
Thursday, August 30, 8 p.m.
(Arthur Hiller, US 1979, 103 min.)