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Overall Rating

Awesome: 4.08%
Worth A Look: 4.08%
Average: 14.29%
Pretty Bad: 16.33%
Total Crap61.22%

5 reviews, 19 user ratings

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Out-of-Towners, The (1999)
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by Ryan Arthur

"My parents loved it. You can imagine my reaction."
1 stars

My mom and dad love the original Out-Of-Towners. Donít know why. Iíve never seen it. But we sat down over the Thanksgiving holiday and watched the ďblink-and-you-missed-it-in-theatersĒ remake starring Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn. They loved it, of course, but said it couldnít really compare to the original. I canít compare the two, so Iíll judge the remake on its own merits.

It sucked.

Loaded with slapsticky bits and lame one-liners, The Out-Of-Towners is perfect for people who donít go to the movies often or who like Veronicaís Closet. If, however, youíve got at least one partially operative brain cell, Iíve got to label this as a must avoid.

John Cleese is the lone bright spot in a huge pile of jokes that just flop and die, but I couldnít even recommend that you rent it and fast-forward to his scenes, for fear that you might come up short or shoot past it and be subjected to even one frame more of this film.

Martin plays Henry, a guy whoís been fired at his ad agency and hasnít told his wife Nancy (Hawn). Heís headed to New York for a job interview. Both of their kids are gone, the son studying abroad, their daughter living in New York. Nancyís got the whole
empty nest thing going, so she decides to tag along at the last minute, and, seated several rows behind him on the plane, passes his foot inserts and rash ointments up to him, to his horror and to the shock of the other passengers. This sent my parents into peals of laughter, because as we all know, Nancyís an airhead, right?

Well, not really, since the character changes for whatever situation arises. Same goes for Henry. Whatever position screenwriter Marc Lawrence (basing his screenplay off of the
original, which was written by Neil Simon) decides to throw them into, theyíll adapt to it. If the characters were at all dynamic, itíd be interesting. But since theyíre just cardboard
cutouts, husks, empty shells for the screenwriter to do with what he wants, with no depth whatsoever, itís just lame.

The actors are of no help. Steve Martin, as Iíve said, can be a comedic genius...if heís working from his own material. But heís reduced to such a flimsy script, complete with mugging for the camera in a drug-induced stupor. Oh, Steve. Steve, Steve, Steve. And for crying out loud, give me the Goldie Hawn of Foul Play or Seems Like Old Times over this any day. Hell, give me the Goldie Hawn from Deceived, even. Anything but this.

Cleese. Ah, Cleese. He struts about in drag and acts like a complete snob. Itís vintage Cleese, and itís his few scenes that brought a smile to my face. Itís short-lived, however.
Cleese has done the same schtick and in better movies, so Iíd recommend searching those out.

I spent a lot of the movie trying to think of ways I could have made it better. I eventually gave up and made a grocery list and started working on my Christmas cards. There are better ways to spend an evening or waste your time. The Out-Of-Towners is 90 minutes of your life youíll never get back.

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originally posted: 12/03/99 16:29:55
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User Comments

3/31/19 Anne lousy 1 stars
1/23/10 dupadoit yay me 4 stars
3/16/08 Pamela White not great but good for a saturday when you have the flu 3 stars
5/06/06 Ashley Hinz I loved it. Better than the original. John Cleese steals the show. 5 stars
11/27/03 Etheridge Hoogendijk Hawn&Martin just can't recapture the magic of HOUSESITTER. 3 stars
7/20/02 Kyle No Andrew, the John Cleese dancing scene is not classic... some people are fucking idiots.. 1 stars
3/25/02 Veronica Foxx aka The Raven-Haired Temptress Not much to offer; maybe a chuckle or two on a boring Sat. afternoon. 3 stars
12/07/01 The $1.98 Pyramid The preferable 1970 version with Jack Lemon is much better 3 stars
10/08/01 Andrew Carden The John Cleese Dancing Scene Is Classic. 4 stars
6/27/00 Monday Morning Ranks right up there with "Look Who's Talking" 2 stars
3/17/00 David Rogers What can I say? They did a better job than Housesitter. 5 stars
5/16/99 Murrieta Man Mildly entertaining - Some funny moments 3 stars
5/03/99 Kevin Knapp Wow this was shitty 1 stars
4/30/99 Evan Hughes Enough funny moments to justify its existence but not much more. 3 stars
4/26/99 Mr Showbiz uninspired, pointlessly wacky farce that reduces its leads to crude slapstick. 1 stars
4/18/99 Marjorie Everything in this movies seemed forced 2 stars
4/14/99 Ah Dooey Not even a matinee can save this one 1 stars
4/12/99 Technorama sucks a big one 1 stars
4/03/99 E Delivers only as long as your expectations are not too high. 3 stars
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  02-Apr-1999 (PG-13)



Directed by
  Sam Weisman

Written by
  Marc Lawrence

  Steve Martin
  Goldie Hawn
  John Cleese
  Mark McKinney
  Gregory Jbara
  Ernie Sabella

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