Formerly "A Movie A Day" :/

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Jerk - 1979 - Dir. Reiner

Haven't seen this movie since my high school days and to be honest couldn't remember much about it until someone quoted it and the memories came flooding in. I was a huge fan when I first saw this! And I still am! Steve Martin's first starring role as a supremely naive man raised by a poor black family who goes out into the world when he realizes that he's not their blood child. That and he discovers the pleasures of white people music. It's a fun movie. My especially favorite part would be the gas station section of the film, which is kind of a shame because it's so early on in the film. The movie never gets AS funny as that section. It certainly has its laughs throughout. It's not as seriously plotted as many comedies, he becomes rich, then loses it. Generally, not due to any actual action he takes. But that's about as far as we go. So it's like a series of goofy scenes dragging a story along behind it. Certainly we're never really asked to take the plot seriously or do we ever worry that things won't work out for him in the end. I suppose that feels like a weakness sometimes, but the movie is just too silly for serious story-telling, so it feels right that it treats the story as it does. It's a great early Steve Martin role especially to see him in his prime doing something other than the sarcastic prick roles that he seemed to be typecast in frequently afterward.
That's what I wear when I go to the bathroom!

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