I was pretty nervous about this movie when I first heard that it was getting made. You see, I liked Steve Martin's novel quite a bit, but about 85% of what made the book what it was was Martin's writing style--specifically, the omniscient narration, the whimsical prose, and the scarcity of dialogue. I thought, "How can you make a movie out of this?" Movies are all about scenes and dialogue, so taking a book that was almost entirely narrative prose and trying to turn it into a movie would be difficult at best. Fortunately, Steve Martin is a good enough writer to pretty much pull it off. He created a screenplay that captured all of the humor of the book and most of the fairy-tale quality. He even managed to mostly restrain the impulse to insert voiceovers. All in all, it was an effective little fable of LA, a town that at once repels and fascinates me. It only misses out on the fourth star because of the few instances of annoying voiceover and the fact that I think that Steve Martin may not have been the best choice to play Ray Porter. He did a fine job, I just think that someone else might have fit a little better.
Viewed: 10/27/2005 | Released: 10/20/2005 | Score: B