THE JERK (1979)
Directed by Carl Reiner, from story and script co-written by star Steve Martin, in feature debut.
Terrific absurdist-comedy premise of Martin , the white son of black Mississippi sharecroppers, who sets off to make his mark on the world in series of mock-picaresque adventures.
Film is uneven, but so is all absurdist cinema (e.g. the Marx Bros.) as opposed to the underlying human appeal and relative coherence of classic comedies ((Chaplin, Keaton) . Succession of mad non sequiturs is close to 50's TV routines , like " Your Show of Shows" on which Carl Reiner had worked. His experience is evident in his control of the better gags.
Excellent cast. Alternately laid-back and maniacal Martin recalls Jerry Lewis minus senimentality, self-consciousness or anxiousness to fill every second with movement, mugging, or chatter. Film's throwaway unpretentiousness is appealing. (Edwin Jahiel)
Copyright © Edwin Jahiel
Movie Reviews by Edwin Jahiel