The Big Year

Year: 2011
Studio: Fox 2000 Pictures
Director: David Frankel
Writer: Mark Obmascik
Cast: Jack Black, Owen Wilson, Steve Martin, Rosamund Pike, Kevin Pollack, JoBeth Williams, Anjelica Huston

How could a comedy with three of the best comic actors working in film fail this much? It's not the worst film you've ever seen starring any of the three leads, but with Black, Martin and Wilson at the reigns it should have been a laugh riot.

That is unless of course all three were attracted to a softer approach and a more realistic story with light comic touches. Even if that was the case it needed just a little more depth as the three play competing bird watching enthusiasts.

The title refers to the program 'birders' embark on to break the record for the number of species seen around the continental US, and builder Kenny (Wilson) is the reigning champ, seeming to consider birding a contact sport as much as a hobby. His marriage to gorgeous Jessica (Pike) crumbling because of his constant absences, he'll stop at nothing to win again.

Rich retiring businessman Stu (Martin) and classic slacker-with-dreams Brad (Black) become friends on their own hunts but paranoia looms large, nobody willing to admit they're on a big year for fear of tipping off possible competition among friends.

The production somehow managed to attract talent like Kevin Pollack and Anjelica Huston as the cranky sea captain, and I have no idea why. It's a big cast but there's nothing much behind it.

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