The Big Year
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- Director: David Frankel
- Writers: Howard Franklin, Mark Obmascik
- Stars: Al Roker, Andrew Wilson, Anjelica Huston, Anthony Anderson, Barry Shabaka Henley, Bill Dow, Brian Dennehy, Calum Worthy, Christopher Mann, Christopher Redman, Cindy Busby, Corbin Bernsen, David Lewis, Dee Jay Jackson, Dianne Wiest, Doreen Ramus, Eric Keenleyside, Gabrielle Rose, Greg Kean, Jack Black, Jesse Moss, Jim Parsons, JoBeth Williams, Joel McHale, Joey Aresco, John Cleese, June Squibb, Kevin Pollak, Marci T House, Morgan Brayton, Nate Torrence, Owen Wilson, Paul Campbell, Rashida Jones, Rosamund Pike, Sheelah Megill, Steve Martin, Steven Weber, Terence Kelly, Tim Blake Nelson, Veena Sood, William Samples, Zahf Paroo
- Release Date: October 2011
- Genre: Comedy
- Run Time: 100 min
Hollywood’s idea of a fun movie circa 2011 seems to be one where people have mindless sex with each other or spend the entire movie talking about having mindless sex with each other. Love equals having a relationship that lasts more than one night, and cheating on your spouse or significant other is par for the course. How refreshing it is to find a jewel like "The Big Year!"
"The Big Year" is a delightful movie centered around three men at different walks of life who each want to have a "Big Year.". A Big Year is birdding terminology for spending the year counting each different bird species you see. The unattainable world record has been set by Bostick, Owen Wilson’s character, several years before. But Stu (Steve Martin) and Brad (Jack Black) feel compelled to try to beat the record. This is something each man needs to do.
Stu is a hugely successful head of a large company who wants to retire. His minions feel that he can’t retire or he will be letting his business (his life’s work) down. Brad is a divorced man in a dead-end tech job who feels like this is his chance to give his life some meaning. Bostick is defined by being "the world’s greatest birder," so can’t let anyone beat his record. He has to have another Big Year as well.
Going along with these three men on their Big Years is an absolute pleasure. We have a lot of laughs together, and we all start to see a little bit more clearly the things that are important in this life. We also see the effect the Big Year has on those left at home (Bostick and Stu’s wives and Brad’s parents.)
Hollywood today feels that they need to always show us the Real World. To them, the Real World is the very worst of society. People who use only crude language and who can’t be faithful or supportive to their wives and husbands unless their lives are going along in a perfectly smooth pattern. Any upset is an excuse for leaving and/or cheating. This movie shows a different version of the Real World where people can be supportive and faithful even when things get a little rocky. It’s a joy to watch!