Sunday, June 20, 2010
#164 The Jerk (1979)
Director: Carl Reiner
Cast: Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters, Caitlin Adams, Mabel King, Richard Ward, Dick Williams, Bill Macy
Navin R. Johnson (Martin) is a dimwitted, but lovable man who was raised in a rural poor black family-- and he doesn't know that he's white. Once he finally figures this out, he goes off into the 'real world' to live his life, and he gets into all sorts of trouble along the way.
The comedy of this film is throwaway and awesome. I actually have always hated Steve Martin in all of his movies, but people reassured me that this is 'his only good film.' I actually loved this movie from beginning to end, and it made me laugh consistently. While it's super silly and extremely contrived, the characters are ridiculously loveable, including Bernadette Peters who plays Navin's main love interest, Marie Kimble.
I would definitely watch this film again and recommend it to others. Most importantly, it redeemed Steve Martin, if only slightly, in my mind.