Repertory Cinema Wishlist: L.A. Story
Steve Martin, looking for a sign, in "L.A. Story."
Steve Martin and I go back a long way. I remember Steve from his SNL days, playing the banjo with an arrow through his head, a wild and crazy guy who perfected his idiot role in such movies as The Jerk (1979) and Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982). Yes, he took side trips from that stereotype in Pennies From Heaven (1981) and All of Me (1984), but the 1991 romantic comedy/satire L.A. Story is the film that first really showed off Martin's true sophistication as a writer and performer.
It has it all: Bitingly funny vignettes and characters from L.A. culture, elegant sight gags, shallow bedroom shenanigans and a talking traffic sign. Could there be anything more L.A.-riffic? The story of Harris K. Telemacher, a broadcast weatherman who spices up his spots with goofy pranks, and his sad, silly and mystical search for Ms. Right in a city that's all about egos and appearances, L.A. Story is a sweet-and-sour comedy that wryly --almost lovingly -- twists the knife ever so gently with every eye-rolling gag.
Three women wind their way through Harris's life -- a two-timing celebrity wannabe Trudi (Marilu Henner), a roller-skating airhead spokesmodel named SanDeE* (Sarah Jessica Parker) and the refined journalist Sara (one-time Martin spouse Victoria Tennant).
Continue reading for more about L.A. Story.