The Big Year David Frankel

The Big Year David Frankel
Much like David Frankel's last deceptively bleak comedy, Marley & Me, The Big Year takes a cutesy concept and deconstructs it, pointing out that just about every endeavour in life is a completely arbitrary and frivolous waste of time, which most people usually don't realize until their golden years, if ever. The distinction here is that instead of watching a cute puppy representing hope and ambition grow old and die, Frankel assesses the fleeting nature of male competition through the titular "Big Year," which is an annual contest for birders to establish who can see the most breeds of birds in a single year. Kenny Bostick (Owen Wilson) is the birding guru, having already won the Big Year, when not being emotionally unavailable for his comely wife, Jessica (Rosamund Pike). His main competition is the older Stu Preissler (Steve Martin), a successful CEO nearing retirement and questioning the nature of it all, and Brad Harris (Jack Black), a depressive, low-level analyst without any drive or purpose. As expected, the group spend the movie finding clever ways to deceive each other in the name of winning while playing fake nice in a face-to-face capacity — sort of like any corporate job — only to learn how frivolous it all was at the end of the day. And while this humble comedy-drama actually works quite well as a valid assessment of middle-class misguidance, people don't want to hear that their desperate attempts at cultural performance supremacy are pointless, leaving the comedy to determine the broad appeal. Unfortunately, The Big Year isn't very funny. Since the movie basically flopped, there are no special features included with the DVD, other than an extended version of the film, which just adds a couple of incidental deleted scenes. (Fox)