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The Odd Couple Case Study

The Odd Couple Case Study

The Odd Couple is about Felix, who has been left by his wife, and Oscar, one of his best friends. Oscar lets Felix stay with him since he had no other place to go. The whole movie is about both of them learning more about each other and living together. This movie demonstrates conflict with friends and roommates.

Weaknesses and Suggestions
After watching this movie, I believe both Felix and Oscar viewed conflict as a struggle. This is a negative way to view conflict and they both never wanted to confront their problems. They always continued to struggle with each other until they couldn’t take anymore. Felix felt that Oscar did not care about him because if he was going to be late for dinner he did not call. On the other hand, Oscar thought that Felix was being too controlling and acting like a wife. Throughout the whole movie it was a constant battle of their differences. They also were both avoiders. Neither one of them ever wanted to confront the other on how they were feeling. They just let the tension and conflict build until it was too much.

Instead of viewing the conflict as a bad thing, they should have thought of it in a more positive aspect. For example, they both could have viewed conflict as a bargaining table. In this, both Felix and Oscar would have been able to let each other know how they both feel and work on their differences. Viewing conflict this way is a type of collaboration. If they were to use collaboration rather than avoiding, their situation would have been better. When you collaborate you are looking out for both your goals, others goals, a solution, and a better relationship (WH 161).

At one point in the movie Oscar got so fed up with the way Felix always cleaned the house that he started to mess it up deliberately. For example, Oscar knew that Felix had straightened the pictures on the wall and he walked over there and turned them. He just did everything to make Felix mad because he was so sick of him cleaning. This was a classic example of an escalatory spiral of conflict. This is when something starts out good and eventually turns into something huge. Felix and Oscar did not have a big problem in the beginning, but since they let the problem escalate it became huge and forced Felix to leave. “Avoiding patterns reduce the chance for productive conflict” (WF 54). We already know that they both were avoiders so the conflict was always destructive. This also helped the spiral of negativity and escalatory spiral grows.

To help out with this situation, I think they should have come up with a constructive power balance. Neither Felix nor Oscar should feel like they had more power in this situation. They both should have relied on each other and know what their strengths and weaknesses were. “Shared power is not a weak, tentative approach- it is powerful and energetic, and it requires great skill” (WF 120). If they would have shared the power than their conflict probably would not have risen to the extent that it did.

The Odd Couple views two friends from two different living styles. They both come together to help one another out only to find they are incompatible. They go through several conflicts and ways to deal with it, mainly avoidance. In the end, they both realize that they care about each other but living together was not working out. If they would have dealt with their conflicts in a better way, living together could have worked out.

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