Only in New York
The Out of Towners
Review by Ross Anthony

Road trip movies have one thing in common -- the concept of getting there. Perhaps that's why I get antsy; awaiting the delayed arrival, most of the movie seems ... well, pending. You might not expect a movie named "Out of Towners" to spend a lot of time on the road, but it does.

With their son off to Europe, Henry (Martin) and Nancy (Hawn) can no longer ignore the creaky sounds of their crusty rutty marriage. (Witnessing Goldie and Steve bicker like your parents might make you feel prematurely gray.) However, a 10 AM job interview for Henry, sends this average Ohio couple New York bound. A painful array of mishaps prevents them from making the trip in a straight line. Somewhere among the obstacles, they rediscover their marriage. But it's the flea circus of calamity, that brings us from the beginning of the film to the end and balances us like a spinning plate on the pointed edge of tedium.

That said, Steve and Goldie are brilliant and hilarious, despite the working conditions. This is the more wild and woolly Steve of "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" from which "Out of Towners" borrows the infamous car rental scene. A big Steve fan myself, I enjoyed his performance in this picture. Goldie was rock solid as well, and John Cleese is 100% stand-up British pomp.

It's the star power that gravitates this rather aggravating plot from the depths it would surely have found without them. Seldom mediocre, "Out of Towners" toggles between the tedious and the hilarious -- fortunately capturing the latter more often than the former.

Starring Goldie Hawn, Steve Martin and John Cleese.
Directed by Sam Weisman. Based upon the screenplay by Neil Simon. Rated PG-13
Produced by Robert Cort and David Madden, Robert Evans and Teri Schwartz at Paramount/Robert
Evans/Cherry Alley and Cort/Madden.


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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:01:41 PDT