Grumpier Old Men is a 1995 romantic comedy film, and a sequel to the 1993 film Grumpy Old Men. The film stars Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Ann-Margret, and Sophia Loren, with Burgess Meredith, Daryl Hannah, Kevin Pollak, Katie Sagona, Ann Morgan Guilbert. Grumpier Old Men was directed by Howard Deutch, with the screenplay written by Mark Steven Johnson and the original music score composed by Alan Silvestri.
The film was Meredith's final motion picture appearance. He was already suffering from Alzheimer's disease and had to be gently coached through his role in the film.
The feud between Max (Walter Matthau) and John (Jack Lemmon) has cooled and both of them patch things up, and their children, Melanie (Daryl Hannah) and Jacob (Kevin Pollak), have become engaged. Meanwhile, John is enjoying his marriage to new wife Ariel (Ann-Margret).
The spring and summer fishing season is in full swing with the annual quest to catch "Catfish Hunter," a rather large catfish. However, the local bait shop closed after Chuck, the previous owner died, and Maria Ragetti (Sophia Loren) has purchased the property with the intent of converting it into a fancy Italian restaurant.
Irritated it will no longer be a bait shop, Max and John join forces to sabotage the restaurant. They are successful at first with their practical jokes. However, when Ariel learns what is going on, she tells John to apologize to Maria at once. He eventually does, but falls asleep at the restaurant after drinking grappa. Max and Maria begin dating due to their shared passion in fishing, while her mother Francesca (Ann Morgan Guilbert) dates John's father (Burgess Meredith).
To complicate things further, Jacob and Melanie call off their engagement due to stress from their parents' involvement. Upon hearing the news, John and Max reignite their feud. Ariel is stressed out because of it and leaves John.
At the restaurant, Francesca is worried about all the time Maria spends with Max. She reminds her daughter of her five failed marriages and worries that Max will make it six. After being convinced to take a long look at herself, Maria reluctantly stops seeing him.
Distraught over losing Ariel, John heads to the lake for his father's advice, but finds him dead. Following the funeral, John and Max call off their feud again and John and Ariel reconcile. After realizing that their own inability to properly plan a wedding is what drove their kids to call it off, they decide to set it right. They help Jacob and Melanie reconcile (the couple later elopes), and manage to catch "Catfish Hunter" and release it, then clarify their own drama. Max marries Maria, and on the way to their honeymoon, discover Max's one-eyed bulldog, Lucky, in the car with them. Ragetti's is reformed so it will also be a bait shop.Jack Lemmon as John Gustafson Jr.
Walter Matthau as Max Goldman
Ann-Margret as Ariel Truax Gustafson
Sophia Loren as Maria Sophia Coletta Raghetti Goldman
Ann Morgan Guilbert as Francesca "Mama" Ragetti
Burgess Meredith as "Grandpa" John Gustafson Sr.
Daryl Hannah as Melanie Gustafson Goldman
Kevin Pollak as Jacob Goldman
Katie Sagona as Allie (Melanie's daughter)
Grumpier Old Men grossed $71 million at the North American box office, against a production budget of $25 million. Grumpier Old Men beat its predecessor's total of $70 million and cost $10 million less to make than the original.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 17% based on 18 reviews, with a rating average of 4.2/10. On Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average rating to reviews, the film has a score of 46 out of 100, based on 14 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale.
Roger Ebert gave the film a score of 2 out of 4 stars. Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times described the film as contrived and getting by on the star power of the cast. Stephen Holden of The New York Times wrote: "Grumpier Old Men, which was directed by Howard Deutch from a screenplay by Mark Steven Johnson, who also wrote the first film, doesn't even try to make sense. And for all the vaunted grumpiness, nobody stays mad for long."