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MovieLine: The Big Year Review

MovieLine: The Big Year has such an overstuffed comedic cast that it’s a shock to realize how modest and unconcerned with generating broad laughs it is. Directed by David Frankel (of The Devil Wears Prada and Marley & Me), produced by Ben Stiller and adapted from a book by former Denver Post reporter Mark Obmascik, The Big Year is only really a comedy in that it’s tonally light and doesn’t ever firmly commit in another direction. Mostly, it’s an earnest showcase for the subculture and annual circuit of competitive bird watching — the preferred term for the true devotees, apparently, is “birding” — in which the hardcore travel around the country hoping for sightings of as many species as possible, some keeping track (honor system only!) and submitting their final count to the North American Big Year contest.

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