Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Mick Jackson|
|Produced by||Daniel Melnick|
|Written by||Steve Martin|
Richard E. Grant
Sarah Jessica Parker
|Music by||Peter Melnick|
|Editing by||Richard A. Harris
Greg Le Duc
|Distributed by||TriStar Pictures|
|Release dates||February 8, 1991|
|Running time||95 minutes|
L.A. Story is a 1991 American romantic comedy film, written by and starring Steve Martin, and directed by Mick Jackson. Set in Los Angeles, California, it relates a series of episodes in the romantic life of an L.A. TV weatherman. It includes surreal sequences in which he is offered romantic advice flashed to him by a freeway sign. The movie blends romantic comedy with elements that both satirize and celebrate L.A. culture.
Harris K. Telemacher (Steve Martin) is a TV meteorologist living in Los Angeles. He is in a dead-end relationship with his social-climbing girlfriend Trudi (Marilu Henner), and wants to find some meaning and magic in his life. At a luncheon with a group of friends, he meets Sara (Victoria Tennant), a journalist from London, with whom he immediately becomes infatuated. Driving home that night, his car breaks down on the freeway and he pulls over. He notices that a freeway traffic condition sign seems to be displaying messages intended solely for him. The sign offers Harris cryptic advice on his love life throughout the movie. He begins to fall for Sara, but she is conflicted because she has tentatively pledged to reconcile with her ex-husband, Roland (Richard E. Grant). Feeling that a relationship with Sara is unlikely, Harris begins dating SanDeE* (Sarah Jessica Parker), a ditzy wannabe spokesmodel whom he meets at a clothing store. After his first date with SanDeE*, Harris discovers that his girlfriend Trudi has been cheating on him for three years with his agent. The discovery leads him to pursue his romantic interest in Sara. This is complicated by his new relationship with SanDeE* and by Sara's feeling of obligation to her ex-husband. By the story's conclusion, he has successfully wooed Sara - with some encouragement and advice from the freeway sign.
- 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
- Iman — lunch guest
There are uncredited cameo appearances by Chevy Chase, Woody Harrelson, Paula Abdul, Martin Lawrence, Rick Moranis (This would be the fourth and final film Moranis starred with Martin) and Terry Jones. John Lithgow and Scott Bakula filmed scenes — respectively as a movie agent and Harris's neighbour — that didn't appear in the final cut (although references to Lithgow's character remain in the freeway shootout and the 'California Cuisine' lunch scenes).
Steve Martin and Victoria Tennant were real-life husband and wife at the time of the movie's production.
The film was a box office success.
It was also critically well received, and has a 94% fresh approval rating from critics on review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes. L.A. Story was voted by a group of Los Angeles Times writers and editors as the 20th best film set in Los Angeles in the last 25 years — with two criteria: "The movie had to communicate some inherent truth about the L.A. experience, and only one film per director was allowed on the list".
- Broeske, Pat H. (1991-02-12). "WEEKEND BOX OFFICE : 'Sleeping,' 'L.A.' Knock 'Home' Out". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-01-11.
- Boucher, Geoff (August 31, 2008). "The 25 best L.A. films of the last 25 years". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-08-31.
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs Nominees