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The Out-Of-Towners (1999)

1999

PG-13 CC

Neil Simon comedy that follows a couple's mishaps as they travel to New York for a job interview. A series of comedic disasters follows that might make one think twice before visiting the Big Apple.

Starring:
Steve Martin, Goldie Hawn
Runtime:
1 hour, 30 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Comedy
Director Sam Weisman
Starring Steve Martin, Goldie Hawn
Supporting actors John Cleese, Mark McKinney, Oliver Hudson, Valerie Perri, Steve Mittleman, Randall Arney, Carlease Burke, William Duell, J.P. Bumstead, Peggy Mannix, Anne Haney, Charlie Dell, Jordan Baker, Tom Riis Farrell, Dani Klein, Daniel Parker, Karen White, Alyson Palmer
Studio Paramount
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Matthew Horner on March 21, 2002
Format: DVD
Thirty years ago, Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis starred in the original version of The Out of Towners. It was moderately successful with the public and the media. As society changed over time, so did much of what we find humorous. Back then, it was funny when the Beaver disobeyed his parents. Today, much laughter is evoked when an audience sees a kid who does obey. The Beaver would be an outcast, a nerd. We have become enormously more worldly.
As was the original, the remake of The Out of Towners is a comedy about a series of mishaps that befall a naive Ohio couple when they venture to New York City. Their plane is rerouted to Boston. They fail to catch a train from there to the Big Apple. Then they rent a car, which they wreck minutes after arriving in Manhattan. Things go downhill from there.
This unfortunate pair is Harry and Nancy Clark, played by Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn. Both stars give it their all, but they are no match for the way Lemmon and Dennis portrayed the couple. Hawn and Martin are comedians whose success depends on the material they are given to work with. [This is why Martin excels in movies he writes and/or directs.] Dennis and Lemmon were serious actors who can cross over into comedy. What was so funny in the original was the way the two took the mishaps so seriously. They looked and acted like an innocent Midwestern pair. Martin and Hawn come off as too glib and sophisticated to ever have such events happen to them.
The movie has its moments, especially when Martin is seemingly allowed to ad-lib. His scene in Central Park, where he winds up after accidentally taking a hallucinogenic drug, is priceless. The incredible Englishman, John Cleese, has his moments as an ultra-snobbish hotel manager.
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Format: VHS Tape
...you're watching a movie with 3 heavyweights (Martin, Hawn and Cleese) and you laugh 3 times. The problem with this remake of the Lemmon-Dennis classic is that we've seen it all before done much better. See "National Lampoon's Vacation", "Dutch", "Fandango" and Martin's own "Planes, Trains and Automobiles". Any one of these "travelling comedy of errors" is considerably more humorous. When the original came out it was something new. It had Jack Lemmon going over the top and really getting the most out of every scene in the film. Lemmon screaming at the top of his lungs-taking down everybody's address, dealing with the cab driver, the dark stranger in Central Park, the fight with the dog over the Cracker Jacks, the chipped tooth, Murray the hotel locator, rain and garbage all over the streets, broken heal and just so much more. Steve Martin's version of George Kellerman is lazy and nearly humorless. It loses sight of the original's comic storyline: New York kicking this simple Ohio couple's butt at every turn and the couple deciding to go back home. It does have Cleese as a closet transvestite (perhaps the films only funny moments). Check out the original or one of the other films mentioned here. This just isn't worth the time.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I love Steve Martin, and the idea of this movie is pretty good..but it is so long...and I guess in some parts of it, I am just bored. There are some funny parts and I like the movie in general. I think they could have added more quick-witted funny parts to it. (but this was back in 1999)...so I can't really compare it to today's standards of "what's funny" in a movie.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Not Steve Martin's funniest, but it had its moments. Fine if you're just looking for light comic entertain. We did have a problem with picture quality, however. It was very bright and the colors were off kind of garish. Have not had a chance to contact Amazon to see what the problem was.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Yuck. What the hell gives with the transfer quality? 1999 was pre-2000, but it doesn't excuse the *terrible* quality of the video on this disc. Felt like I was watching a VCD - if anyone remembers those.

NOTE: I said "great movie" - it's great in the sense that it was what it was when I remember wanting to buy it. This is by no means a *movie* review as much as it is a "product" review.
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Format: DVD
Anyone who has seen the original 1970 version with Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis, under the aegis of Neil Simon's tight scriptwriting, knows how an excellent cast, script, and director can put together a comedy masterpiece.
By the same token, it's easy to see how the opposite of that can create another insipid Hollywood bore-a-thon! Despite two stars in the lead that I simply adore, it falls miserably on its head. There are about 2-3 actual gags that evoke so much as a grin, and out of a full length movie that just isn't enough.
While I highly recommend the original, you'd probably be better off skipping this wannabe farce.
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Format: Amazon Video
The premise of this movie was showing an aging man and wife couple (emptynesters) from Ohio having to go to NYC for the husband's job interview and how such naive midwesterners are abused by the city but overcome. However, typical liberal Hollywood has to interject its craziness into the plot. For example, two middle aged married Ohioans are not going to show up in NYC and have sex in a garden to get caught by people dedicating a statue in the garden and chased by the police. They are also not going to blackmail a transvestite to get a free room. They are not going to steal a meal from a guy looking to pick up a "date" at a hotel bar. Too much of a "coincidence" that they try and crash a sexaholics meeting for the free food, only to spend their first stolen dollars on a cab ride the next. It isn't that "middle Americans" as everyone outside of LA and NYC and SF are derogatorily referred to, and in this movie depicted as "Ohioans", don't have survival instincts or that all "other" Americans are Apple pie church going folk . . . it is that most know that is wrong and live a true right and wrong life like most outside of SF, LA, and NYC. That just wouldn't make for a "fun" movie. So Hollywood has to interject this as it is blinded by its moral corruption and a dry well of imagination. It clearly isn't for comedy. Anyway there are some redeeming qualities to this film (the husband and wife strangely get closer by actually sharing their lives again . . . being partners again . . . only after . . . oh wanting to call their marriage quits about 3 different times) but over all it is just a seen that heard that film that seems to be made only to give two aging Hollywood stars another film to "star" in. Like most of my reviews . . . if you have nothing else to do and this is on sale or free why not?
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