The film is astonishing in the amount of material it contains. It isn't thin or superficial; there is an abundance of observation and invention here.
Vincent CanbyThe New York Times
Basically decent, intelligent and sweet. It's a fanciful romantic comedy whose wildest and craziest notion is that Los Angeles, for all of its eccentricities, is a great place to live.
Goofy and sweet, L.A. Story constitutes Steve Martin's satiric valentine to his hometown and a pretty funny comedy in the bargain.
Hal HinsonWashington Post
Martin's poetic elegance turns to sappy mysticism. And if the material had been presented more insistently, it might have been insufferable, too goopy and new-age. Its modesty, though, is its prime virtue.
Owen GleibermanEntertainment Weekly
The trouble is, nothing about this couple is particularly rooted in Los Angeles. The love affair has a bland, generic feel. What's more, the picture lacks verve.
Jonathan RosenbaumChicago Reader
There are still plenty of laughs and some inventiveness along the way...although some of the gags and contrived plot moves stumble over their own cuteness.
Stanley KauffmannThe New Republic
Martin himself still seems to be filing in at run-throughs for the real star who couldn't make rehearsals. [11 March 1991, p.28]
TV Guide Magazine
Unlike Woody Allen's New York City, which becomes a staging area for character angst and transformation, Martin's L.A. stifles the characters.
Mike ClarkUSA Today
Victoria Tennant's iciness has been well-utilized on screen occasionally, but not this time. [8 Feb 1991, p.D4]