(On VHS, June 2001) Midwest yokels come to New York City and are quickly out of their depth! How funnier can it be? A lot funnier, easily. Goldie Hawn and Steve Martin reprise their usual screen personae, adding nothing and screaming a lot with scarcely any indication of how good they can be in other types of roles. John Cleese is a hoot as usual. The various plot points are pretty much predictable in advance, and aren’t all that skilfully executed either. For a film about New York, there isn’t a whole lot of scenery. There have been worse films, there have been better films, so there isn’t any cause for concern if ever you pass by The Out-Of-Towners and don’t pick it up.
(Second viewing, in French, on Cable TV, December 2018) Watching The Out-Of-Towners remake right after the 1969 original only underscores how much more slap-sticky is the remake. Gone are the more serious undertones and barely-repressed desperation of the original. Instead, we get Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn hamming it up as much as they can stand. The result actually is reliably funny, although unsubstantial to a point where I didn’t even realize I had seen the film seventeen years ago. One good point in favour of the remake: the much more active role given to the female lead — it sure helps that Hawn can be reliably funny on a dime. There’s a surprising cameo appearance from pre-America’s-Mayor, pre-Crazy-Pundit Rudy Giuliani.