Out-of-Towners, The

Rated 2.0 Two Midwesterners (Steve Martin, Goldie Hawn) meet with a series of disasters on an overnight trip to New York City. Writer Marc Lawrence updates one of Neil Simon’s most unpleasant scripts, a 1970 vehicle for Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis. Lawrence makes small improvements—for one thing, the husband is no longer an abrasive, belligerent ass—but the story isn’t any funnier now than it was 30 years ago. The original film was annoying, but at least it had some kind of edge; in this remake the stars’ misfortunes are toned down and trivialized, as if Lawrence and director Sam Weisman were anxious not to offend the New York City Film Commission (Mayor Rudy Giuliani is even on hand to show there are no hard feelings). It’s all as bland as a Velveeta pizza, even with Martin and Hawn at their most appealing.