Monday, June 18, 2012

Out Of Towners (1970)

Hilarious Neil Simon / Jack Lemmon NY Comedy from the 70s

Not the 1999 remake starring Goldie Hawn and Steve Martin but the original directed by Arthur Hiller (Love Story, Outrageous Fortune) and scripted by the Broadway guy Neil Simon (Lost in Yonkers).

In any case, the Out-Of-Towners is possibly the funniest movie ever made about a sanitation strike in a city or this is a lame NY comedy you’ll hate. Besides, has there ever been a Neil Simon movie set in New York without someone getting mugged at Central Park? It exactly depends on which side you are?

Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis are a unlucky Midwestern couple (George & Gwen Kellerman) who suffer through a night of every plausible Big Apple humiliation and go home with their tails between their legs. Good riddance! This city's tough enough without an extra pair of Simon characters whining in self-pity and issuing a non-stop stream of stale wisecracks. Watch out for comic cameos from ace comedians of that era like Paul Dooley, Ann Prentiss, Anthony Holland, Sandy Baron and Anne Meara.

Yet, the Out-Of-Towners is personally notable because it brought back some best moments of my life. College, is what I mean, when like the feckless couple from Ohio who fly to Manhattan for a job interview - I was prone to sleepless nights during my job hunts immediately after college. Not because of culture shock (well, at least not on the surface) but usually because I'd had too much on my mind, too many expectations and too many people around.

Another reason some may like the Out-Of-Towners is Sandy Dennis’ strong support and Jack Lemmon's witty performance. For a large part of the film, he has to whistle all his S's because he's chipped a tooth on the prize in the Cracker Jack box. I wonder if his understudy had to keep reminding him about it.

Almost as good as Richard Dreyfuss' sashaying, queeny King Lear in The Goodbye Girl. Must be a trademark Neil Simon thing, he seems to hold the limbo bar pretty low for his leading stars. Anyways, lets thank Neil Simon for making us laugh about violent crime... again. Neil Simon incidentally received the Writers Guild of America award for the screenplay. For me, it was a good watch though!

Free Streaming/Movie Download - Video Link: VeeHD


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