Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that The Sunshine Boys is another "buddy" (or "anti-buddy") comedy from writer Neil Simon. Two elderly ex-vaudevillians trade jokes and insults and reflect upon their 43-year partnership as entertainers, not all of it happy. There is a great deal of physical humor, including lengthy scenes in which two true comic geniuses (Walter Matthau and George Burns, who won a Supporting Actor Academy Award for his performance) silently engage in hilarious one-upmanship. One sequence is a replay of a farcical vaudeville sketch in which a doctor leers at a buxom nurse while trying to seduce her. Cursing ("bastard," "s--t," "hell") and insults ("lunatic," "putz," "idiot") are heard throughout. Although often said in anger, the language is meant to be ludicrously out of line and funny. In one briefly suspenseful scene, one of the leads has an on-camera heart attack and trips down some stairs but recovers. Tweens and teens who aren't really old enough to pick up on the references to vaudeville, early television, and the world of agents and auditions will still see the laugh-out-loud humor in the old boys' relationship and the frequent clowning.
A very funny vaudeville sketch about a doctor and his buxom nurse is included. The skit contains comic ogling, innuendo, and a healthy supply of "large breast" jokes. The nurse wears a very low-cut uniform and wiggles her derriere as she enters and exits.
The incorrigible senior at the heart of this movie hits his adult nephew once and threatens him with a knife. He suffers a heart attack and falls down a few stairs. No injuries or deaths.
Frequent mild-to-moderate cursing: "s--t," "damn," "bastard," "Jesus," "for Christ's sake," "hell," "son-of-a-bitch." Insults are heard frequently as well: "idiot," "senile," "lunatic," "putz," "shut up," "crazy bedbug." One elderly character uses ethnic slurs in a few instances: "Kraut," "the Spanish kid" (referring to an adult), and "Japs."
Patience and empathy are important elements in preserving long-term friendships. Even in very difficult relationships, common bonds can overcome small grievances.
Numerous products are either seen or mentioned: L'eggs, Alka-Seltzer, Variety, ABC, Streit's Matzos, Campbell's Soup, Coca-Cola, Sardi's, Schick, Chrysler, Colt 45. Much of the action takes place in New York City's landmark Hotel Ansonia (now a condominium complex).
Drugs / Tobacco /
Smoking is referred to as "not allowed." A character chews on a cigar.