Like I suspect many of you do, I will often watch a movie based on the cast rather than the description. (Okay, I sometimes refuse to watch a movie for the same reason.) In this case it was, “The Big Year”, released in 2011, about three bird watchers in pursuit of “a big year”, a term used when trying to maximize the number of different birds seen in a 12-month period. (My apologies if I mangled that explanation). The cast included Steve Martin, Owen Wilson, Jack Black in a less frentic role than he often plays, Brian Dennehy in a perfect role for him, Dianne Weist, and others.
The essence of the movie is that Owen Wilson is the world record holder for “a big year” and Martin and Black, coming from very different backgrounds, decide to challenge the record. This is one of those delightful, humorous movies that explores personal relationships of the casual and deeper type with the bonus of some really nice photography because of the bird watching premise. Since Hollywood rarely allows facts to interfere with a story line, I don’t know how accurately the world of bird watching was portrayed. I won’t give away the ending, but I will say that if you are in the mood for a pleasant movie that doesn’t require you to watch it three times to make sure you didn’t miss anything, I suggest “The Big Year”. And despite the fact that there were no explosions or car chases, my husband enjoyed it too.