Nestled among this week’s new theatrical releases is The Big Year, a rather syrupy looking Bucket List riff co-starring Steve Martin, Jack Black, and Owen Wilson. Let’s be clear: we have not yet seen it. But we’re not holding out much hope for a movie that puts those three guys together and cannot find one single laugh to put in a trailer.
How could you combine three men as (granted, not always reliably) funny as these and not come up with a laugh riot? Quite easily, turns out. The recent cinema is all but littered with pictures that teamed up established comedic talents and thus sounded like sure-fire crowd pleasers, but which ended up tickling the funny bones of neither critics nor moviegoers. After the jump, we’ll run down ten comic combinations that misfired.
THE MATCH-UP: Robin Williams and Billy Crystal
APART, THEY MADE: Good Morning Vietnam, The Fisher King, The Birdcage; When Harry Met Sally, City Slickers, Throw Momma From the Train
TOGETHER, THEY MADE: “the disquieting sensation not of seeing two funny men but of watching two comedians from a distant age go through the motions of what they, all evidence to the contrary, still believe to be funny.” –Owen Gleberman, Entertainment Weekly
BY THE WAY: Though Williams and Crystal had co-hosted several “Comic Relief” benefits, they never appeared in a movie together — until 1997, when they did three: this one, Woody Allen’s Deconstructing Harry, and Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet. But Father’s Day was the only one where they shared scenes. (And it was the only one that was terrible.)