Billy Wilder’s cynical comedy certainly throws a few well aimed punches at America’s corporate mentality as crooked lawyer, conniving ex, and soulless agency types go at each other like dogs fighting over a crippled bone. Meanwhile Harry’s own moral compromise, emphasized by his mother’s theatrical wailing and the remorseful eyes of the quarterback who ran into him, sets him up as a bewildered cog in a machine more heartless than he could have imagined. There’s even a few weak attempts at addressing issues of racism and racial stereotyping that probably carried more weight back in 1966. But for all that the film is just too bland and predictable and not very funny at all. Stars Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon do their usual mugging and verbal sparring while Wilder keeps the pace going, but the film’s moralistic message seems hopelessly naive today (alas) and its tidy little ending just a bit too trite.

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