Embrace the throwbacks with these classic Steve Martin movies
Steve Martin is the whole package: actor, comedian, playwright, musician, screenwriter . . . he’s dabbled in every possible branch of the cinematic art form. Seeing him as a 76-year-old, working through the clues for a true-crime podcast in Only Murders in the Building alongside Martin Short & Selena Gomez, we’re tempted to look back at his other impeccable works.
His contribution to industry runs the gamut — from comedies to dramas, from mysteries to horror, he’s done it all. Let’s have a look at some of his best works. Bookmark these Steve Martin movies for a binge-watching session.
Father of the Bride
If you think remakes aren’t able to live up to the hype of their parent movies, think again. In the 1991 flick Father of the Bride, Martin finds himself unable to let go of his daughter as he inches closer to the big day. The movie has everything that a wedding movie is expected to have . . . from the chaos of wedding planning to multiple emotional avalanches.
Joined by Diane Keaton, George Newbern, and Martin Short, Martin gives a memorable performance that solidified him into fatherly roles that he so adeptly started playing.
A cast cannot get any better than this: Steve Martin, Mary Steenburgen, Dianne West, Jason Robards, and Joaquin Phoenix. Parenthood follows Martin as Gil Buckman, who’s already struggling to balance his professional & personal lives with three children when he finds out his wife is pregnant again.
The Pink Panther
The movie may not be the first one on any list, but Steve Martin’s The Pink Panther was a good escapist, nonsense comedy. As Inspector Clouseau, a quirky & clumsy detective, Martin tries to solve the mystery of murder & the theft of an expensive Pink Panther diamond ring.
Everyone’s a suspect. Indian actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan appears as the criminology expert Sonia Solandres in the sequel.
Little Shop of Horrors
Can you imagine Steve Martin as a sadist? Little Shop of Horrors brings that to you. In the movie, a flailing florist stumbles upon a plant that feeds on human blood, but also brings good luck & fortune. The movie has an offhand charm to it, and Martin gives a remarkable performance on an otherwise bland plate. Little Shop of Horrors makes perfect viewing for the Halloween season.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Do you know how people need to geographically restrict their territories to ascertain their jurisdiction? When two con men are faced with the same issue, they try to solve the problem the way con men do: they decide to settle the case by trying to rob an heiress; whoever robs her gets to operate in that territory.
The Jerk was Steve Martin’s first feature film. The 1979 flick follows the life of Navin R. Johnson, who was adopted by Black sharecroppers, as he embarks on a journey to find himself. Martin brings his best stand-up jokes & punches to the role. Now that we think about it, this is the role that may have allowed for un-cool protagonists to be a thing.
Another reason to watch it? Bernadette Peters plays his love interest, Marie.
Martin plays Bales, a fire chief who wants to make his department competent, woo Roxanne, and not let his nose get in the middle of this. There’s a whimsical quality to the movie that makes it likable. The comedy is straightforward, like a classic. And the music adds to the charm.
The plot is simple, yet twisted: when Bales realizes Roxanne has eyes for another man, he plays the matchmaker between them by penning down letters on his behalf. Of course, the feelings are his own.
As Only Murders in the Building releases another episode, it’s a good time to revisit some of the best movies that Steve Martin has made possible.