In the first act of PLAZA SUITE, Sam Nash (Matthau) and his wife Karen (Stapleton) are celebrating their anniversary by returning to the suite where they honeymooned 24 years ago. Trying to get her inattentive husband?s a... more »ttention and spruce up their failing marriage, Karen attempts to rekindle the romance that the couple once had while Sam has some secretly seductive plans of his own. In the second vignette, former movie producer, Jesse Kiplinger (Matthau), tries to put the moves on his old flame Muriel Tate (Harris) in true Hollywood fashion. And finally, the third sequence finds Matthau playing Roy Hubley, an anxious father who with his wife Norma (Grant) tries desperately to persuade his nervous daughter to leave the bathroom in which she has locked herself on her much-anticipated wedding day.« less
Alex Udvary | chicago, il United States | 09/20/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"What happens when you combine Neil Simon and Walter Matthau? You get this hilarious remake from a Neil Simon play! Matthau is just absolutely amazing to watch, going from one character to another! He proves his status as an "A" list actor. The story concerns Matthau playing three roles. Each just happens to be staying at the same room in the same hotel, at of course, separate times. And offers three different and unique stories for each situation. Of the three skits, I prefer the third sketch. Sure, many say the first one is better, but it's more sentimental then the three, which is exactly what it's suppose to be. But the reason I chose the third one is because, it's simply the funniest of the three. And when I watch a Neil Simon film, I expect pleny of laughs. And the third one offers them. Wonderful performances by all the supporting women. Many think Mauren Stapleton was the best off all three, she was in the "first act", playing Matthau's wife, who learns something terrible about her husband. And no, I'm not going to tell you. Barbara Harris is quite good in her performances as Murie Tate, Matthau's ex-wife, whom he calls over to his hotel room for some "fun", is you know what I mean. And last but not least, we have Lee Grant and Matthau play Mr. and Mrs. Hubley, who are having a hell of a time trying to get their daughter, who is having second doubts about the marriage, out of their hotel bathroom, so she can make her wedding! Unbelieveable chaos insues, and is a pure delight to watch. Unfortunatley Matthau wasn't even nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor, what proves, that the Academy always makes some sort of mistake. Plus, the screenplay written by Simon wasn't up for Best Adapted Screenplay. One of Simon's best! If you enjoy this movie other Matthau & Simon films are: "The Odd Couple 1& 2", and "California Suite"."
Walter Matthau shines in "Plaza Suite"
Kona | Emerald City | 10/27/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Walter Matthau has a field day playing three roles in this trio of one-act plays that all take place in Suite 719 of the Plaza Hotel. In the first story, he plays a bored businessman with a mid-life crisis and a desperate wife (Maureen Stapleton. Witty dialogue with a serious tone. In the second act, Matthau plays a self-centered movie producer who calls his star-struck old flame (Barbara Harris) in hopes of some afternoon delight. Silly and funny commentary on the power of celebrity. In the last story, Matthau is the father of a bride who is currently locked in the bathroom, refusing to get married. He and his hysterical wife (Lee Grant) try to coax her out, but she's having second thoughts. Snappy sarcasm played for big laughs.
Adapted from the Broadway smash by Neil Simon, the movie still looks and sounds like a staged play. The actors all shout like they're reaching for the balcony and there's never a moment's pause between lines. The actors even come out for a curtain call at the end. It's dated, but made thoroughly enjoyable by the stars, especially Matthau, who looks like he's having a great time. A funny movie.
One-third of a good movie
Rocco Dormarunno | Brooklyn, NY | 09/07/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"While Walter Matthau and his talented co-stars do an admirable job, the first two vignettes have little to offer. Even 35 years ago, I think the stories of adultery and seduction were unoriginal. The last story, however, is a non-stop laugh session. I mean, face it, Walter Matthau's best moments are those when he's at the boiling point. And in this case, with his daughter locked in the Plaza's bathroom on the day of her wedding, the penny-pinching Matthau erupts over and again. Lee Grant, as his hysterical wife, is a perfect companion. This episode is well worth suffering through the first two."
How Suite it is
Movie Mania | Southern Calfornia | 01/18/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Plaza Suite was the first of three "Suite" plays by Neil Simon. The premise is that the entire play takes place in on suite of a hotel. In this it was Suite 719 of NYC's Plaza Hotel. Each of the three acts has two main characters. On stage, the same two actors played all three acts. In the film, Walter Matthau plays the male lead but three different women play opposite him, Maureen Stapleton, Barbara Harris and Lee Grant.
Visitors From New York - It is the Nash's 24th Wedding Anniversary. Karen (Stapleton) wants everything to be perfect. She has reserved the same room as on their wedding night. The only problem is her husband Sam doesn't care. And he's having an affair with his secretary.
Maureen Stapleton has always been a great character actress. She would perfect the harried wife to perfection Her natural warmth and charm always makes her likeable to the audience.
Visitor From Hollywood - Jesse Kiplinger is a Hollywood producer who is in New York for the opening of his new film. He has a couple of hours to fill and he is looking up an old flame from high school, Muriel (Harris). Muriel is happily married but she is star struck. All she wants to do is say that she was with a famous Hollywood producer, not that she slept with him just spent the afternoon. (Remember this was the 60's). Jesse tries but Muriel resists until he talks about the stars.
Barbara Harris has perfect comic timing, even when she does dramatic roles. She also is not afraid of physical comedy. In this she combines both perfectly and works off of Matthau with ease.
Visitors From Brooklyn - Roy and Norma (Grant) Hubley's daughter is getting married today. That is if they can get her out of bathroom. This is pure Simon farce.
Lee Grant has proven she can do anything but all out farce is her forte. No one does a woman on the verge better.
Walter Matthau was a high profile character actor. That is until he and Jack Lemmon met up with Neil Simon. The Odd Couple permanently moved Walter to leading actor status. Therefore, when the next Simon project was ready for filming, that Matthau was the first choice. Walter had three very different characters to play here and he does each to perfection.
This is master class in comedy, not only acting but directing and writing.
DVD EXTRAS: None "
Curmudgeonly Matthau and Three Superb Actresses Keep Neil Si
Ed Uyeshima | San Francisco, CA USA | 05/24/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you want a mildly entertaining snapshot of what made Walter Matthau such a skilled curmudgeon of an actor, you should take a look at this 1971 three-act Neil Simon comedy directed in a fairly pedestrian manner by Arthur Hiller. Based on Simon's Broadway hit, it feels very stagy with reams of dialogue and for the most part, a recreation of Suite 719 at the Plaza Hotel as the movie's only set. There is a central conceit in casting Matthau as the male lead in all three mini-plays, but fortunately the three characters suitably fit the contours of his talent. It also helps that Hiller cast three superb, relatively unsung actresses opposite him.
In the first and most dramatic piece, Matthau plays Sam Nash, a preoccupied, workaholic husband who sees his youth slipping away as he celebrates his 23rd (or 24th) wedding anniversary at the Plaza. Played by the wonderfully earthy Maureen Stapleton, his somewhat absent-minded wife Karen comes to realize that Sam is having an affair. Stapleton is really center stage here and performs superbly as she gradually realizes her anniversary celebration is unraveling into a much-too-delayed discussion of the true state of their marriage. The second mini-play is a light farce with Matthau playing self-absorbed Hollywood producer Jesse Kiplinger. Sporting an unflattering 1970's blonde wig and affecting a saucy, faux-hip accent, he is hilariously on the make for his former hometown flame, Muriel Tate, now a New Jersey housewife. The underappreciated Barbara Harris has an appropriate showcase for her spacey, improvisational flair as Muriel, especially as she asks about her favorite movie stars at the most inopportune times during his less-than-subtle seduction.
Probably because of its frenetic pace, broad characterizations and physical comedy, the last act is the funniest of the three with Matthau and Lee Grant playing Roy and Norma Hubley, who are desperately trying to talk their hesitant daughter out of a locked bathroom just minutes before her wedding. Their rat-a-tat chemistry is priceless as they encounter every possible mishap with Grant especially hilarious as Norma in simmering panic with her palpitations and torn stockings. As a whole, there is no getting away from the fact that the movie feels like a filmed stage play, but Simon's dialogue is crisp and insightful and the actors so expert that it is worth viewing. Sadly there are no extras with the 2003 DVD."