So, if you only know of Mark Obmaskic’s The Big Year as a novel, you might be somewhat surprised that the film adaptation starring Steve Martin, Jack Black, and Owen Wilson looks more like a white upper-middle class crisis romp akin to The Bucket List, but even whiter, than a quirky comedy about three men who compete against one another to win a yearly bird watching competition. If, like me, you watch the trailer below without having an inkling what The Big Year was before now, you might be surprised that the actual plot of this movie contains, well, any amount of bird watching other than as an excuse for the wacky hijinks on display…
While Martin, Black, and Wilson can be comedy gold under the right circumstances, none of them have really been at the top of that particular game for years. But, really, as bizarre as those three leads teaming up feels (outside of the former “Heat Vision and Jack” co-stars, natch), this trailer really just shows how far Wilson and Black have come from being likable character actors and edgy-ish comedians into being family-friendly movie stars who appeal to the lowest common denominator. It’s a path previously paved by Martin himself, or even future Oscar host Eddie Murphy. Because of this, I find myself begrudgingly agreeing with something written on an IMDB message board: It really is too bad this project wasn’t handed over to Wes Anderson. Whatever you think of his precious directing style, a Wes Anderson film probably wouldn’t have the “at least we aren’t in a blizzard” gag immediately followed by dialogue that completely underlines (and undermines) the gag itself.
Here’s the film’s poster, and, honestly, I’ve made better — or, at least, equally shitty — joke one-sheets for Pajiba:
Blergh, right? Too bad, because under different circumstances I might actually want to go to there.
Rob Payne also writes the indie comic The Unstoppable Force, co-hosts the internet radio show We’re Not Fanboys, and Steve Martin both retweeted and replied to him in 2010 on the Twitter machine @RobOfWar. Now that was a big year.