The Big Year Trailer: Steve Martin, Owen Wilson, and Jack Black Take a Sabbatical

“When it comes to comedy, go big or go home,” intones the voiceover towards the end of this first glimpse at The Big Year, a mid-life crisis buddy picture starring unlikely buddies Steve Martin, Owen Wilson, and Jack Black. Except to judge from the trailer director David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada) has done neither, choosing instead to camp out in the schmaltzy, half-smiling desert between hard-R soft-brow gags (fat man fall down! Old man miss plane!) and fourth-quarter release feel-goodisms (learning, laughing, long-distance phone calls to the eternally patient Rashida Jones). The movie is adapted from a book of the same name that isn’t about budding bromance exactly — it’s about birding. And not Owen Wilson’s usual catting around either — actual bird-watching, the kind that keeps Jonathan Franzen up at night. We’re guessing 20th Century Fox made the right call that general audiences are more into dudes behaving (semi) badly in an around-the-world adventure than ornithology, but the first impression is decidedly less impressive than, say, an Asian Crested Ibis. We can’t help but peruse the castlist and think that the stellar group of women gathered to roll their eyes and generally support their misbehaving mates — including Jones, the outstanding Rosamund Pike, and the underutilized JoBeth Williams — would have made better travelling companions.

Filed Under: Jack Black, Movies, Scouting Report, Steve Martin

Andy Greenwald is a staff writer for Grantland.

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