According to Wikipedia, "A Big Year is an informal competition among birders to see who can see or hear the largest number of species of birds within a single calendar year and within a specific geographical area."


So now you know, this actually happens.


Currently some guy named John Vanderpoel is working on a big year and has already passed 720 species while chasing the record of 745 by Sandy Komito. You can follow the progress on Vanderpoel's blog if you are so inclined.

That may prove more humorous than the movie "The Big Year" starring Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson as three competing birders who are vying to break a record currently held by Wilson's character.


Wilson is Kenny Bostick, a well-to-do contractor with a lovely wife (Rosamund Pike) who is trying desperately to get pregnant by her husband. Of course he is more interested in chasing birds and protecting his world record big year than nailing his wife.


Martin is Stu Preissler, the CEO of a midsized company who has decided to retire just so he can chase his own big year. His wife Edith (Jo Beth Williams) is 100% supportive of his chase as well as the crazy amount of money he will be spending!


jack Black is Brad Harris, a mid level worker bee with no wife or girlfriend who lives with his parents and is now chasing the big year.

The three will, during the course of the year, encounter each other all while lying and deceiving each other about what they are up to. There is suppose to be some clandestine efforts in camouflaging their big year. Except for Brad, who freely tells everyone he is chasing the big year, even though he got a late start on it and is drastically underfunded.


He and Stu bond while Kenny is off chasing birds and neglecting his wife.


Literally, that's pretty much it. Three guys chasing birds and the effect, if any, on their family. Oh, I guess it's rather interesting as Brad's father (Brian Dennehy) banter with each other; it's even interesting that Dennehy and Black have similar facial features!


But the reality is the story doesn't lend itself to be what it advertises itself to be... a comedy. I barely mustered a chuckle twice. Owen Wilson does his usual job as a schmuck, but it isn't funny.


For what it's worth, director David Frankel does a masterful job capturing the nature; maybe one day he'll work for Audubon or National Geographic.


"The Big Year" is a comedy with three comedian that was unfunny. In fact It owes me some laughs!   -- GEOFF BURTON