L.A. Story

February 8th, 1991


L.A. Story

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With the help of a talking freeway billboard, a "wacky weatherman" tries to win the heart of an English newspaper reporter, who is struggling to make sense of the strange world of early-90s Los Angeles.

Release Year: 1991

Rating: 6.7/10 (16,888 voted)

Critic's Score: 65/100

Director: Mick Jackson

Stars: Steve Martin, Victoria Tennant, Richard E. Grant

Harris K Telemacher is a 'wacky weekend weatherman' for a local Los Angeles television station who is searching for meaning in his otherwise cliche ridden Los Angeles life. With the help of an insightful and talkative Freeway sign, Harris embarks on a journey through Los Angeles in pursuit of Sarah, an English reporter who has been sent to the City of Angels to research an article for the London Times.

Steve Martin - Harris K. Telemacher
Victoria Tennant - Sara McDowel
Richard E. Grant - Roland Mackey
Marilu Henner - Trudi
Sarah Jessica Parker - SanDeE*
Susan Forristal - Ariel
Kevin Pollak - Frank Swan
Sam McMurray - Morris Frost
Patrick Stewart - Mr. Perdue, Maitre D' at L'Idiot
Andrew Amador - Bob, News Anchor
Gail Grate - Gail, News Anchor
Eddie De Harp - Maitre D' at Brunch (as Eddie DeHarp)
M.C. Shan - Rap Waiter at L'Idiot
Frances Fisher - June
Iman - Cynthia

Taglines: Something funny is happening in L.A.

Release Date: 8 February 1991

Filming Locations: 1206 N. Orange Grove Avenue, West Hollywood, California, USA

Opening Weekend: $6,616,915 (USA) (10 February 1991) (1091 Screens)

Gross: $28,862,081 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Harris (Steve Martin) quotes poems that Martin previously quoted in The Man with Two Brains.

Continuity: As Sarah tells Harris of her weekend plans with her ex-husband, her hands change position on the car door between shots.

Harris: [after seeing tiny dinner at L'Idiot's] I'm already finished and I don't remember eating.

User Review

Still a Classic Gem Twelve Years Later

Rating: 10/10

Okay, I was raised in the LA area, so I appreciate "LA Story" more than many might, but it's still just an incredibly wonderful romantic comedy regardless of where you grew up. The script is fabulous, and the soundtrack featuring the music of Enya is the perfect counterpoint to this wonderfully wicked lampoon of Southern California culture.

The humor is much more intelligent than early Steve Martin features such as "The Jerk", but it isn't snobbish. It has wit, charm, and pure satirical funniness. Whether it's watching Martin roller-skate through a museum of Old Masters, seeing a restaurant full of jaded Californians casually ride out a minor earthquake as their tables gracefully vibrate across the room, or the absurdity of a freeway sign giving out cryptic personal messages that change the course of the principal character's lives, the movie simply works.

Steve Martin is at his best here, equal to his wonderful performance in "Roxanne". Victoria Tennant is the perfect choice as the off-beat, tuba-playing British journalist Martin's character falls for. Sarah Jessica Parker is absolutely priceless as SanDeE* (that's her spelling, not a typo), the young would-be spokesmodel/bimbette who "likes to point". Even Rick Moranis as the comedic Cockney grave digger is wonderful, despite his having one of the least believable accents since Dick van Dyck as the chimneysweep Bert in "Mary Poppins". Forget the comment about Moranis' accent... you'll enjoy him anyway.

Overall, this is one of my two favorite movies of all time, and considering how many I've enjoyed, that's saying volumes.


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