Steve Martin, Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin

On paper, this looks like a nice teaming. Alec Baldwin is a great actor, and I don’t care if he’s beating his kids with aluminum trash cans. (For the record, there is no indication that Baldwin has ever assaulted his kids with anything other than his Mamet-esque verbal rage.)

Meryl Streep is an accomplished actress with a slew of Oscars.

And Steve Martin is…

Well, at this point, I think we can safely say that Steve Martin is all done. And that’s a shame. He’s one of the most influential comics of all time. He’s a skilled novelist. And his autobiographical work, “Born Standing Up,” is one of the best books I’ve ever read about the creative process. (Click here for a compelling excerpt.) But his filmography is dreadful: Cheaper by the Dozen, Father of the Bride, The Pink Panther, and their respective sequels–these are all horrible, unfunny films. Maybe that’s the joke. Maybe Martin sits at home imagining movie audiences squirming in their seats, utterly embarrassed by the travesty that is his latest picture. And maybe that makes him laugh his ass off.

Or maybe he’s just raking in the cash.

Just the other day I was saying to a friend, “I sure wish somebody would put Steve Martin in a good movie.”

I think I can safely predict this film will not be the fulfillment of that wish. According to Variety, the untitled romantic comedy is to be written and directed by Nancy Meyers, writer and producer for Martin’s Father of the Bride films, who also helmed Something’s Gotta Give and The Holiday. That list does not inspire confidence, since every single one of those movies is simplistic, sentimental, whitebread happy ending bullshit. Am I being too harsh? Some may refer to these types of films as merely mediocre, but that argument reminds me of that thing Jesus said about water being hot or cold, but if it’s lukewarm you spew it from your mouth.

In other depressing news, Martin’s sequel to The Pink Panther is set for release on February 6.


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