Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson Mine Mid-Life Crises For Comedy in The Big Year Trailer

"We just need a little adventure. [...] A big year to do everything we never could," explain the trio of lead characters in the trailer for David Frankel's The Big Year. Because 365 days worth of adventure-seeking and ticking off bucket-list items will surely drive the crises right out of Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson. And at the very least, that "big year" will give the comedic actors a reason to goof around on skis, forge meaningful bonds and, most likely, realize that the cure to their middle-aged woes have been in plain view the entire time. Or am I missing the plot entirely?

Apparently, I am. Because in spite of the trailer that pitches The Big Year as The Great Outdoors meets Planes, Trains & Automobiles meets Jack Black eating pretzels in his underwear, there is a narrative that exceeds three guys palling around in windbreakers. Specifically, The Big Year is about three men obsessed with birdwatching (Martin, Black and Wilson) who embark on a year-long challenge to find the most species of birds in North America. Understandably, 20th Century Fox buried that narrative deep, deep, deep in the trailer, but how will they manage to distract audiences from that plot come October? Regardless, outdoors man fun! A great cast (Anjelica Huston, Rashida Jones, Rosamund Pike, Dianne Wiest, Jim Parsons, Anthony Anderson and Joel McHale)! Steve Martin and Jack Black, together in a kayak at last!

Look for the Ben Stiller-produced Big Year in theaters October 14.

VERDICT: To paraphrase The Big Year's tag line: Everyone is searching for something... but nobody is looking for a birdwatching buddy comedy.


  • Doug says:

    I'm not a birdwatcher, but I read the book that probably inspired this...Shockingly, it was pretty entertaining. If you're gonna make a movie around birdwatching, it better have some quality comedians and this cast consistently makes people laugh. I can't imagine them all failing in this one.