Steve Martin wrote this film as a meditation on both love and Los Angeles (and then-wife Victoria Tennant). He plays a L.A. TV weatherman who finds himself conflicted about what to do with his life, both professionally and... more » personally. As he works his way through a couple of relationships (including a very funny one with a frisky Sarah Jessica Parker, who talks him into colonic therapy), he discovers a L.A. freeway sign that gives him romantic advice. It helps him realize what he knows intuitively: that the British woman he is attracted to (Tennant) is the one he should pursue. A big cast (and lots of cameos) have fun with this witty (if slight) material and director Mick Jackson adds visual pizzazz. --Marshall Fine« less
Chad B. (abrnt1) from CABERY, IL Reviewed on 4/16/2010...
Steve Martin is not funny. Has not been since The Jerk and this movie is another slow moving, boring waste of time. Maybe you need too live in LA to get it. If so this film is even more pretenious then i thought.
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L.A. STORY is Steve Martin's masterpiece
Steven Bailey | Jacksonville Beach, FL USA | 06/17/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's always a delight to follow a movie comic who really knows what he's doing, because eventually you hit the jackpot. With Woody Allen, it was HANNAH AND HER SISTERS; with co-exec-producer/writer/star Steve Martin, it's L.A. STORY. Rarely does any movie, much less a comedy, keep me bolted upright in my seat in anticipation of what might happen next. But from its schizoid opening ballet to its sweetly happy ending, even when I wasn't laughing, I was enchanted.Martin plays Harris K. Telemacher, a Los Angeles TV weatherman who's unsatisfied with his superficial lifestyle. He woos and beds some women whom most men would probably be thrilled to have (Marilu Henner, "Sex and the City's" Sarah Jessica Parker), but he is unsatisfied until he meets a British journalist (Martin's then-wife Victoria Tennant) whose very unpretentiousness is enough to knock him off his feet.This is obviously Steve Martin's attempt to be another Woody Allen--there's the Annie Hall-like quirky romance, the use of jazz great Django Reinhardt on the soundtrack (he also uses Enya, which was my introduction to this beautiful vocalist), and he romanticizes L.A. the way Allen does The Big Apple. Funny thing is, it all works. Even if you're as anti-L.A. as Manhattanite Allen is, it's an L.A. crafted in Steve Martin's mind, anyway--and what an original landscape it is.It even goes Allen one step better. One scene Allen filmed and then deleted from ANNIE HALL featured the rolling news marquee in Times Square telling him to return to Annie in L.A. I have no idea whether Martin ever heard about this or not, but in L.A. STORY, he gets romantic advice from a highway traffic sign. The concept sounds hopeless (as Allen obviously decided it was), but Telemacher is so disbelieving about the concept that its comedy comes across. After all, everything else offbeat happens in L.A.; why not this?There are few comedies that meld so perfectly. One is tempted to credit its lush visuals and on-the-button pacing to director Mick Jackson, except that Jackson has done little before or since that is this striking (THE BODYGUARD was a big hit, but I can't say it stands out in my mind). It's obviously Martin's comic vision all the way, and it's pure delight.Martin's physicality and wit are on grand display here. And though Victoria Tennant, like Jackson, has done little else in her career that's this good, Martin certainly makes us see just what he saw in her. When they finally come together, it feels deserved and not at all forced.In an era where gastric wheezing and room-temperature mentalities substitute for wit, it's refreshing to see a comedy that actually creates its own special world. For me, L.A. STORY ranks right up there with Preston Sturges's screwball comedies--a one-of-a-kind take on the world's craziness and the love that helps us endure it.L.A. STORY is rated PG-13 for sexual situations and strong language."
One of my favourite movies of all time
M. Evans | Hamilton, Ontario Canada | 07/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Steve Martin is a genius! I have watched this movie over a dozen times and it still charms me to this day and never becomes out-dated. A must see for anyone who appreciates how ridiculous life can be."
CLASSIC ROMANTIC COMEDY IS ALSO SATIRE ON L.A. GOOFBALLS
S. H. Towsley | Fort Wayne, IN & Los Angeles, CA | 10/30/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a well-written, well acted, very original romantic comedy that doubles as a highly successful critique of L.A. superficialities. Having lived in L.A. for over 20 years myself, I consider this a classic. It is a really special film, and tough to fully describe to someone who hasn't seen or heard much about it. It is NOT one of those mindless youth comedies, and has quite a different tone than some of Steve Martin's other films, like THE JERK or THE MAN WITH TWO BRAINS. This is more grown-up stuff, closer in tone to his ROXANNE, perhaps. It has a fine cast of highly entertaining characters, some extremely well written dialog, and succeeds in being a very funny film. In recommending this movie I most encourage those who enjoy social commentary mixed into their comedy, some worthwhile dialog among adults, and a very sharp wit when it comes to holding L.A. fads(and status-consciousness) up to the light. It's not a Woody Allen comedy exactly, but think more along those lines than the current crop of dumb comedies when trying to decide if this movie is for you.In fact, it is not overstating to say that L.A. STORY rises easily above our expectations -- it surprises us with its specialness and originality. It is so charming, has such truly funny performances by Martin, Tennant, Parker and the rest, and has such a keen eye for identifying the ridiculous elements of life in L.A. that it has already become a classic in many people's minds. The fact that it is also a study of a man confused about his identity who finds himself when he discovers true love is the icing on this cake. Martin's character is essentially baffled about his own life and surroundings, and is looking for fulfillment with the younger woman played stunningly by a very teenaged-nubile-looking Sarah Jessica Parker. Parker is absolutely fascinating in this movie as the uninhibited girl in tight shorts who steals Martin's heart (and mine) in the first act. A young pretty girl with this much energy, openness, and unabashed sexuality, who can become infatuated with an "older man" like Martin, is bound to make the rest of us men weigh the virtues/drawbacks of such a relationship. Anyway, the relationship is hilarious and also poignant, and one of the many tremendously successful elements of this movie. I can imagine a viewer who would not find this his or her cup of tea, but few comedies are so easy to recommend to the more intelligent portion of the movie-viewing public. Go for the romance, go for the L.A. social commentary, go for the fascinating characters, or go for the interesting discussion you'll be able to have with your date about relationships and true love afterward. This movie has much to like."
My True Favorite Film
Robert Barnwell | Johnson City, Tennessee | 02/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Over the years I've had many discussions about film. I love masterpieces like Citizen Kane, Casablanca, Henry V, Richard III, Lawerance of Arabia, the Seven Samurai, Hiroshima Mon Amor, Bridge on the River Kwai, Gone with the Wind, Rope, Dances with Wolves, Braveheart, Pulp Fiction, Million Dollar Baby, Chaplin's Gold Rush, Horse Feathers, Lion in Winter, American Beauty, Schindler's List, Platoon, Unforgiven, El Mariachi, Godfather, Battleship Potemkin and Doctor Zhivago, but my true favorite film of all time is L.A. Story.
Every line, every scene, every shot and every concept is brilliant. It is not so much a great movie, as a collection of great scenes. But, on a level deeper than judgement, I simply love this movie.
The movie combines dry wit, absurdist situations, comic romance, urban fantasy and honest insights for a completely original film experience. It won no Academy Awards, nor is it likely to appear on any Film Institiute "All Time List," but even though I own four copies of this film (VHS, DVD, DVD 15th Anniversary Edition & iPod), if I come across it on cable I still have to watch. Watching this film has helped me get over setbacks and celebrate good times.
The best way I can explain the subtle brilliance of this movie is to paraphrase it. Let us assume that there is something I could say or do to make you watch this film. Now, let us assume that I have already done it."
Great movie - DVD formatting, not so much
M. Bridges | Metro Atlanta, GA United States | 02/17/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As far as I am concerned, "LA Story" is some of Steve Martin's best work. Martin is a very versatile actor, as anyone even considering one of his movies knows already - this movie is both hilarious and intelligent. I didn't find the movie overdone, but if you prefer movies where bodily fluids figure prominently, this won't be for you.
Not unlike movies like "Airplane", there are jokes and funny moments that will catch you off-guard. This is one of those movies that you can watch repeatedly and always come across something new. The chemistry between Martin and Victoria Tennant was GROWN-UP, so the moony-eyed sequences that people expect in romantic comedies is not there (go get "Sleepless in Seattle").
I don't know enough about the mechanics of transferring film to DVD to register an opinion there - the film comes across well enough to me. One thing that you will find repeated in these reviews is that there is no Director's Commentary. but the back of your DVD may mention it - DON'T BOTHER LOOKING FOR IT CAUSE IT AIN'T THERE!!
Get this DVD!!! Watch it today!!!"