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Location: Greensboro, NC, United States

Sunday, January 11, 2009

L. A. Story

Out of the numerous gifts I received for Christmas, one friend gave me a copy of the Steve Martin film "L. A. Story". I had actually just remembered it a couple of months ago, and subsequently added it to my Amazon wish list.

Sometimes you think back with fondness on a movie that you enjoyed at an earlier point in your life, but upon watching it again, realize that your enjoyment was determined by and confined by the point you were at in your life when you saw it. One can grow out of a movie, just like one grows out of other things.

I found this wasn't the case for me with L. A. Story. It was released in 1991, and so the clothes and music are dated. But if one can get past this, the film is brilliant. It is essentially a comedic love story set in Los Angeles, but it is far deeper than most films that would fit into that category. The first thing I noticed in re-watching the film was the many quotes and allusions to Shakespeare. I am fairly unread in Shakespeare, but I'm knowledgeable enough to pick up on some of the allusions. After watching the film again, I skimmed through the IMDB discussion board about the film and learned that it is essentially based off of A Midsummer Night's Dream, though there are references to several other Shakespeare plays present.

The film is full of absurd moments, intended in part to highlight the eccentricities of L. A. life. And it is also full of details that only emerge upon repeated watchings, which make it a much richer film.

There are aspects that one should beware of. There is some profanity, a moment of brief nudity, and a couple of sexual scenes, though not graphic. So it's a film for adults. But if one is okay with these, the film is well worth the watching.

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