In L.A. STORY the inimitable Steve Martin, one of the funniest men in show business, brings his unique humour and observational talents to a romantic comedy that pays equal tribute to life, happiness and the city of Los Angeles.
As Harris K. Telemacher, the Wacky Weatherman presenter for a Los Angeles television station, Martin battles the insanity and chaos that is the city and its inhabitants while looking for meaning in life (or at least a date now his wife has run off with his agent!). Shakespeare-quoting and sensitive, Telemacher receives directions from, of all things, a sign on the Los Angeles Freeway that tells him his life is about to change.
With humour that is of the subtle rather than sledgehammer variety, Martin lampoons Southern California culture for all its worth, whether it’s his unique take on contemporary art, watching a restaurant full of jaded locals ride out a minor earthquake or negotiating the intricacies of booking a table at the latest “in” establishment, L’Idiot. Martin (“The Jerk”, “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid”, “The Man With Two Brains”, “Little Shop of Horrors”, “Roxanne”, “Planes, Trains & Automobiles”, “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”, “Bowfinger”, “The Pink Panther”) is at his best while Victoria Tennant is perfect as the scatty, tuba-playing, British journalist for whom he falls (and was Martin’s then wife). Sarah Jessica Parker also turns in a superb pre-“Sex And The City” performance as the airheaded bimbo SanDeE (her spelling!) with whom Martin accidentally lands in bed.
L.A. STORY is that rarity, a film that actually gets better and better as it progresses as audiences find themselves celebrating life, love and laughter with Martin himself. He might poke fun at L.A., its superficiality and preoccupation with image but he is never mean-spirited. And that is the best kind of love, a love that adores someone as much as for their faults as their virtues.