[[quoteright:333:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/LA_Story_5594.jpg]]

''L.A. Story'' is a romantic comedy starring (and written by) Creator/SteveMartin. Harris K. Telemacher (Martin) is a weatherman in L.A. whose love life is assisted by a mysterious, magical talking freeway sign. The city of Los Angeles is a star as well, one of the themes of the movie being the often bizarre attributes of the city itself, from the weather to earthquakes to the "fake" citizenry. Marilu Henner, Victoria Tennant and a pre-''Series/SexAndTheCity'' Sarah Jessica Parker play the love interests of Harris. The movie is peppered with humorous cameo appearances, from Creator/PatrickStewart's scene-stealing maître d'hôtel to Creator/RickMoranis' gravedigger. (And yes, that ''is'' Music/PaulaAbdul as the rollerskater.)

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!!Tropes:

* AllJustADream: Heavily implied that the entire story is a fantasy inside the head of Harris, who has a [=PhD=] in Arts and Humanities - which explains the Shakespeare references - and which is also why the film is one huge EmpathicEnvironment.
* AmbiguouslyGay: Ariel, who at the very least has a close live in relationship with another woman. Deleted scenes made the relationship more explicitly gay.
* ArcWords: "The Weather Will Change Your Life. Twice."
* BilingualBonus. Plenty. "L'Idiot" is "The Idiot". "El Pollo del Mar" is "The Chicken of the Sea".
* BrassBalls: There's a great scene where Harris (Creator/SteveMartin) is walking on the beach with arrogant bastard Roland (Creator/RichardEGrant), and there's this metallic clanging noise. Harris asks what it was and Roland says "It's a nuisance. It's my damn testicles."
* CallBack: "Let your mind go and your body will follow."
* CasualDangerDialogue: Sara is alarmed when there's a minor earthquake during dinner, but the locals just pick up their drinks to avoid spilling them and pay it no attention, not even missing a beat in their conversation.
* CleaningUpRomanticLooseEnds: Harris is saddled with his girlfriend Trudi, until she admits to having an affair, which cues an immediate break-up and opens the door to pursuing a less problematic romance.
* CloudCuckooLander: All of Los Angeles, according to Roland.
* DeadpanSnarker: Harris. In spades.
* DrivesLikeCrazy: Sara. It doesn't help that she has no idea Americans drive on the other side of the road.
* DumbBlonde: [=SanDeE*=]
* EmpathicEnvironment: ...'''''yes'''''.
* EverythingsLouderWithBagpipes: The freeway sign plays "Amazing Grace" with electronic bagpipe sounds.
* ExecutiveMeddling: In-universe, Harris' boss (Woody Harrelson), wants a "more wacky, less egghead" weathercaster. Keep in mind, Harris is already loopier than a roller coaster in his weather reports.
--> '''Boss''': You're doing some sort of intellectual thing.
--> '''Harris''': Intellectual? It may seem intellectual to you, because you were educated with with a banana and an inner tube! This is an intellectual-free zone!
--> '''Boss''': More wacky, less egghead.
* FakeBrit: Rick Moranis puts on a British accent in his role as the gravedigger.
** Also, in-universe, Trudy accuses Sara of doing this... despite the fact that Sara is British!
--> '''Harris''': "Oh right, like that big phony, Winston Churchill."
* FrenchCuisineIsHaughty: ''LAStory'' has a very snooty French restaurant called l'Idiot, where the lead has to show his bank balance and several other references even to get a reservation. Snooty character played to LargeHam perfection by Creator/PatrickStewart.
-->"You can't have the duck. Do you think with a financial statement like this you can have the duck?"
** ForTheEvulz:
--->'''{{C|hevyChase}}arlo:''' Is this part of the New Cruelty?
--->'''M'aitre D:''' I'm afraid so.
* GiveMeASign: Literally, the roadside sign that dispenses advice.
--> '''Sign:''' "Kiss Her, You Fool."
* IsThisAJoke?: Harris' initial reaction to the talking road sign.
** The Maitre'd at L'Idiot:
--> "You think with a financial statement like this, you can have the ''duck? !''"
* ItIsPronouncedTroPAY: {{Inverted|Trope}}. Harris and his friends agree to meet at a trendy new restaurant whose name is pronounced "leed-YO", but when the scene shifts there, we see that it's actually spelled "L'Idiot", and that ''is'' the correct pronunciation in French.
* ItTastesLikeFeet: When Ariel gives Harris the experimental beverage.
--> '''Harris:''' It's exactly like licking a shag carpet.
** Becomes a BrickJoke after Harris pours the rest on a plant, only for Ariel's "[[LesYay roommate]]" to exclaim the next day "Hey, my plant's dead!"
* MagicRealism: Many elements, but especially the highway sign.
* ManicPixieDreamGirl: [=SanDeE*=]
* MistakenForQuake: {{Inverted}} in the cafe scene, which has the ground begin to shake about halfway into the meal. Sara, just in from the UK, worriedly asks what's going on and the others tell her it's just an earthquake.
* MyNaymeIs: [=SanDeE*=]. Harris is initially relieved her name is "Sandy," because "everybody has weird names now, like Tiffany with p-h-i, and instead of Nancy it's Nanceen." Then [=SanDeE*=] tells him how to spell hers.
* MysteriousMiddleInitial: Harris K. Telemacher.
* OffscreenCrash: in one scene, a man in the background can be seen juggling a chainsaw, and we can hear that it's turned on. Seconds later, as the camera moves away leaving him out of shot, we hear the sound of a man screaming in pain.
* PetHomosexual: Ariel, although it's pretty subtle.
* RandomPasserbyAdvice: Sara remembers when this once happened to her.
-->'''Sara:''' I went roller skating once at the Brooklyn Rollerdome. It was awful. I was completely out of control. I slammed right into this 8-foot tall black guy in a green satin jump suit. I said, "I'm sorry, could you help me?" He looked down at me with deeply stoned eyes and said: "Little lady, let your mind go and your body will follow."[[note]]Harris invokes it, with some help from the traffic sign, which astonishes Sara since Harris from her eyes shouldn't know anything about that story.[[/note]]
* RightThroughTheWall: Harris and [=SanDeE*=] end up in the hotel room next to Sara and Roland.
* RoadTripAcrossTheStreet
* RomanticRain: At the end of the movie, the magical freeway sign controls the weather to prevent Sara from returning to London. Sara takes a taxi to the home of her love interest Harris Telemacher, and they embrace and kiss in a rainstorm.
* ShoutOut: To Shakespeare, and especially ''Hamlet'''s gravedigger scene.
* ShutUpKiss: Twice in a row.
* SnowcloneTitle: To ''NewYorkStories''.
* SomethingElseAlsoRises: The fountain when Harris and Sara finally make love.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: [=SanDeE*=]. Not Sandy, "Big S, small A, small N, big D, small E, big E and a star".
* TrueArtIsIncomprehensible: The art critique [[InUniverse scene]]-see below. [[invoked]]
* WannabeLine: Harris has to go through [[ThoseWackyNazis The Fourth Reich Bank]] to get a reservation at the latest trendy restaurant.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotDidactic?: The hilarious, rambling, erotic critique Harris gives about... a painting of a large, red rectangle.[[invoked]]
** Steve Martin is actually an [[RealitySubtext avid collector of modern art]] in real life.
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