July 14, 1997 12:00 PM

Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau

No need for Hollywood to make an official movie version of TV’s Love Boat series. More than filling the bill is Out to Sea, in which Lemmon and Matthau go hormonal, along with a likable cast of equally mature costars (Dyan Cannon, Gloria DeHaven, Donald O’Connor, Hal Linden and the ever fabulous Elaine Stritch) aboard a cruise ship. Without going overboard praising this geezer comedy, one can say that Out to Sea, as directed by Martha Coolidge (Three Wishes), is an agreeable bit of nonsense that will float the boats of Lemmon and Matthau fans.

Here, Matthau plays an inveterate gambler and ne’er-do-well who shanghais Lemmon, his widower brother-in-law, on a cruise to Mexico. Only after boarding does Lemmon discover that Matthau has signed them up as dance hosts, meaning they’re responsible for making nice with single lady passengers. “We’re not working,” reasons Matthau, “we’re dancing and cavorting.” This setup is mostly an excuse to pair off both men with ladyloves (Cannon for Matthau, DeHaven for Lemmon) and to have Matthau cut the rug, something he does with the antic grace of a giraffe hanging laundry. (PG-13)

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