August 2, 2017

L.A. Story

Sarah Jessica Parker
wearing the most 1991
costume imaginable.
An affectionate, absurd, silly satire of Los Angeles. Steve Martin wrote the movie and it's a treat to watch a feature that feels like it has his indelible stamp on it. Steve Martin veers into neurotic Woody Allen territory at times, especially during his arguments with Sara (his IRL wife Victoria Tennant), but this is supposed to be a left-coast Manhattan, so that makes some sense. The end of the movie is especially wifty: I can't tell if there's two Enya songs or the same one twice, but I guess it's appropriate for a movie about L.A. to become indulgent and self-important at the end.
This re-view also reaffirmed my feeling that -- much like rom-com masterpiece Four Weddings and a Funeral -- L.A. Story also succeeds despite the miscast lead actress. I said to my wife "Victoria Tennant is not very attractive and she doesn't jump off the screen...BUT maybe this movie wouldn't be so good with a better-looking actress?" and she shot back "no, she's got Resting Bitch Face and she can't act" so I felt a lot better about finding her contribution lacking.
It's rarely a good idea to cast your spouse to work opposite you in a movie, but it's especially grim when you are supposed to be falling in love, yet IRL you're divorced three years later.