There's No Excuuuuuuuuse...
Back then: Funny!! Now: Eh.. Not so much.
Why is a man who was so irreverent, who changed the face of comedy forever, who became the proof that a million young kids needed that you can be weird and successful, why is that man single-handedly trying to ruin film comedy as we know it?
Steve Martin started his career as a strange standup. Not as manic and/or coked up as Robin Williams and not as geared toward the old folks as Jonathan Winters, Steve's standup comedy was pure genius disguised as a retarded maniac. His bits were rock solid, but he delivered them as if he was a Special Ed kid running face first into a brick wall. This kind of smart, in your face buffoonery had never been done with actual intelligent material backing it up. As much as George Carlin or Cheech & Chong, perhaps even more so, Steve Martin 'changed' things in the world of comedy.
Then came his TV and film career. Classic bits on SNL begat even more classic film roles. His work with Carl Reiner still ranks as perhaps the single best 'director/star' comedy combination of all time (slightly ahead of Brooks/Wilder and Edwards/Sellers). From 'The Jerk' to 'Man with Two Brains', he showed that he could actually 'act' well enough to make a movie work, and be funny too.
After leaving the competent arms of Carl Reiner, Steve entered his 'salad days', movies that were both huge studio projects and critical successes. All of Me, Roxanne, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Now Steve had it all, the power of being a huge box office draw and the reputation that comes from doing interesting projects when you don't have to.
But then it happened. I blame one person for taking what may have been the most gifted comedy mind of an entire generation and blowing it out the back of his skull. That person is Ron fucking Howard and his awful, family friendly piece of shit Parenthood. It was as though you took a chinese fighting star and melted it down into a marble. That one single role seemed to meticulously remove every single last edge that Steve Martin had. Sure, he may have done L.A. Story and Grand Canyon in the two years afterward, but the damage had already been done. Steve no longer gave a shit if he was funny anymore and just started playing the exact same boring white straight man in every single fucking movie he appeared in.
Let's take a look at Steve's work from 1992 onward; Housesitter, Father of the Bride I and II, Sgt. Bilko, Out-of Towners, Bowfinger (don't defend it), Bringing Down The House, and Cheaper By The Dozen (he's shooting the sequel right now). And then there's the two projects coming soon. Movies whose very premise makes you want to cry and kick whatever idea-less studio hack that came up with it right in the balls. These are the two films that truly mark the 'end' of Steve Martin.
First is obviously the upcoming Pink Panther movie. The lack of respect that it takes to rape the corpse of Peter Sellers like this is unconscionable. From Benigni to Ted Wass to Steve Martin, I'm pretty sure that Blake Edwards has a running bet with someone that he can't kill this franchise. Anyone who sees this should have their movie license taken away.
Next is that he's most likely going to play George in a (ugh) live action version of 'The Jetsons'. I don't think any more needs to be said. Ooooh, I hope Ashton Kutcher plays Elroy!
So please Steve, I beg of you, we all beg of you. Please go back up to your wonderful home in Montecito, have nice meals out every once in awhile, maybe write a play every now and again, but stop making movies. Even if Vin Diesel winds up getting all your roles, it will still be better than watching someone I used to respect stinking up the craft he used to be so good at.