City Slickers is one of those movies that was always around when I was a kid. People made a big deal about Jack Palance doing push-ups and I never quite got the appeal of Billy Crystal. As an adult, not much has changed. I get that it’s a film about aging and wish fulfillment. But, it’s handled in a way still feels alien to me. I can’t believe that Billy Crystal is playing a 39 year old in this movie. He just seems so old when contrasted against Stern and Kirby.
The NYC domestic stuff feels crowded and never gets going. Plus, the actual cattle drive and intro to Curly feels stilted. When Curly is onscreen, the film has a point and the wide open cast feels defined. However, the film keeps returning to let’s make Billy Crystal into a hero. It doesn’t work, as Crystal isn’t a hero in this film. His portrayal of Mitch is just a First World guy who is in the doldrums. Daniel Stern’s character has real problems, but they won’t let him steal focus.
Given the casting changes that went into the film’s development and it’s desire to never go dark…it’s awkward. I haven’t approached this film in awhile and I’m glad that Shout Factory gave me the chance.