L.A. Story Review

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Harris Telemacher is a weather presenter presenter for an L.A. TV station. Striving to achieve fulfillment, he finds a helping hand from the last person he expected: the city of Los Angeles itself.


It comes as no surprise that Steve Martin, who has acted in the past opposite such items as a brain and a series of vintage film clips, should decide here to co-star alongside an entire city, in this instance Los Angeles (hence the name).

What is a surprise is that despite Martin's reteaming with writer Daniel Melnick, this film has only half the wit and romance of their last collaboration, Roxanne. Martin is Harris Telemacher, a TV weatherman in a city where the temperature rarely drops below 72°F, thus allowing him to pre-tape his broadcasts.

His life is filled with Beverly Hills cliches — his girlfriend Trudi (Henner) spends her time shopping and endlessly doing lunch while he drives everywhere, even to his next door neighbour's house — until he falls in love with English journalist Sara (Tennant).

The path of love is not smooth, however, and Harris finds himself with three women instead of one — Trudi, Sara and young Valley Girl Sandee (Parker). To complicate things further, he is fired from his job and discovers an electronic freeway sign that sends him — and him alone — cryptic messages.

It all starts well enough as a satire of the madness that is life in Los Angeles, but with the introduction of the Field Of Dreams-like sign and the continually irritating appearance of Richard E. Grant as Sara's ex-husband, things take a distinctly downward turn that a cameo from Rick Moranis as an English-accented grave-digger (cue Hamlet parody) does little to reverse.

Martin's customary wackiness seems strangely curbed and L.A. Story, while certainly not without its moments never quite adds up to the sum of its parts.