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Out-of-Towners

Director: Sam Weisman
Writer: Marc Lawrence
Paramount; PG-13; 91 minutes
Release: 4/99
Cast: Steve Martin, Goldie Hawn, John Cleese

As Disney developers strong-arm Times Square's seedy core into the Big Apple's notoriously forgetful past, overall crime rates in New York City continue to fall ... Out-of-Towners actually mentions the decline; this, coupled with a cameo by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani suggests that the film is a frightening extension of a tourism ad campaign. Sure, Giuliani's emboldened police force recently murdered an unarmed black man by firing 41 bullets at his unarmed (and, incidentally, innocent) body; but for the Midwestern couple played by Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn, muggings, druggings, meanness, and other urban unpleasantries don't tarnish the appeal of the candy-coated metropolis they've come to visit. Politics aside, is this movie funny? Well, multi-talented Martin has some excellent scenes. John Cleese puts in a good performance as the ornery hotel owner making the couple's stay as uncomfortable as possible. Nonetheless, this comedy of visitors encountering difficulty in the city that never sleeps is a little sleepy itself.


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