The Out-of-Towners (1999) starring Steve Martin, Goldie Hawn, John Cleese, Mark McKinney, Oliver Hudson directed by Sam Weisman Movie Review

The Out-of-Towners (1999)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Goldie Hawn and Steve Martin in The Out-of-Towners (1999)

A Fawlty Remake

With their son Alan (Oliver Hudson) away on his travels around the world his parents Henry (Steve Martin) and Nancy (Goldie Hawn) are planning a trip to New York from their home in Ohio. What Henry hasn't told his wife is that he has lost his job and whilst she knows he is going to the city for a job interview she doesn't know how crucial it is that he arrives on time and makes a good impression. The trouble is before they touch down things start to go wrong as their plane is diverted, they then get on the wrong train and when they hire a car they end up getting themselves lost.

As I always say when it comes to remakes; if you enjoyed the original the remake isn't going to be for you. Now as of writing I haven't watched the 1970 version of "The Out-of-Towners" and as I am a fan of both Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn this should be right up my street. Unfortunately "The Out-of-Towners" is a long hard slog of a movie which despite being 90 minutes feels like it is twice as long because so few jokes work and everything feels forced.

Oliver Hudson in The Out-of-Towners (1999)

Part of the trouble with "The Out-of-Towners" is the premise is so slim; Henry and Nancy head to New York and have one comedy incident after another be it getting on the wrong train to being robbed by a man in the streets. That is it and whilst other movies have done something similar as we watch an eventful filled adventure in the city this really feels like a one gag movie. In fairness we do have an extra aspect of both Henry and Nancy being stupid, well dumb enough to get robbed by someone in the street but it is daft and in truth not funny.

The worst thing about "The Out-of-Towners" for me is that it is such a complete waste of talent as Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn do not click and are unable to make the lame jokes work. It is not just Martin and Hawn who suffer as there are many familiar faces in supporting roles but most of those struggle just as much with the poor comedy. About the only one who comes out of "The Out-of-Towners" looking good is John Cleese and that is because he is playing a hotel manager who is a variation of Basil Fawlty, well that and what can only be describes as the bad girls scene.

What this all boils down to is that "The Out-of-Towners" is basically one big misfire of a comedy which not only is rarely funny but is a complete waste of its cast especially Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn who can't breathe life in to the lame jokes.