A witless script and bad casting dooms The Big Year, a fictionalized adaptation of Marc Obmascik’s bird-watching book, The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature and Fowl Obsession. The story is spread across three intersecting characters, each at a personal crossroads. There’s Stu (Steve Martin), a retiree; Brad (Jack Black), a guy going nowhere; and Kenny (Owen Wilson), who lives comfortably enough but hits that wall in his life when he questions whether there should be more to life. These three actors can be good, but they can also produce garbage by the ton. However, the blame falls more on the material than the actors in this case. It highlights none of what these guys do well, leaving them flailing at things they don’t.
Director: David Frankel
Producer: Karen Rosenfelt, Stuart Cornfeld, Curtis Hanson, Carol Fenelon, Ben Stiller and Jeremy Kramer
Cast: Steve Martin, Jack Black, Owen Wilson, Brian Dennehy, Anjelica Huston, Rashida Jones, Rosamund Pike, Dianne Wiest, JoBeth Williams, Anthony Anderson, Corbin Bernsen, Barry Shabaka Henley, Joel McHale, Tim Nelson, Jim Parsons, Kevin Pollak and Nate Torrence