Reviewed by: Debbie James
“The Out-of-Towners” is a remake of the 1970 Neil Simon screenplay, with Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn playing Henry and Nancy Clark, an Ohio couple who now have an empty nest since their adult children have both moved away; their daughter has gone to New York and their son has gone abroad to study.
Nancy is a complete basket-case now that she has no children to fuss over and Henry has just lost his job, but hasn’t yet told his wife. Over dinner, it becomes evident that their marriage of 24 years is stagnant. Henry decides to fly to New York for a job interview and Nancy decides to tag along for the fun of it.
The couple’s crazy circumstances begin as soon as they are on the plane, and one unfortunate event after another begin to happen. In the beginning their mishaps are funny, but predictable. They end up at the wrong airport, their luggage is lost, they miss their connecting train, and then they are mugged. Tired and hungry, they find out that there is a problem with their room at the hotel. Now they are “homeless” in N.Y.C.
It is from this point that the movie turns south and the comedy takes a bad turn. The Clarks stumble into a meeting of Sex Addicts Anonymous where we hear varying accounts of perversion and sexual dysfunction from the attendees. In addition, there is a cross-dressing hotel manager played by John Cleese, an adulterous seduction scene, a scene of lovemaking (with no nudity), sexual comments, a shower scene where a silhouetted body is seen through the shower door, public urination, and drugs (briefly used as a comedic element).
Offensive language occurring was: 17 inappropriate uses of “God” or “Jesus” and 7 instances of common swear words. There were also instances of smoking and social drinking.
I would suggest passing on this movie and renting “Seems Like Old Times” instead, another Neil Simon movie starring Goldie Hawn, Chevy Chase, and Charles Grodin, a much funnier movie with cleaner comedic twists and turns.
Year of Release—1999