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- 94 min.
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The definition of hit and miss.
The Jerk is a rather bizarre Steve Martin comedy (even by his standards) that spoofs the rags-to-riches biopic (so prevalent today) along with a few other genres along the way, and does so with zany sketch ideas that often stand out as completely original, but are more intellectually amusing than laugh-out-loud funny (mileage may certainly vary). For me, the improbable moron is the least interesting comedy archetype, and that's part of my ambivalence here. I also feel like the film's title is misleading, as the character is more naive than a jerk, although the word does have other meanings. I might have expected corruption to play a stronger role in the "riches-to-rags" climax of the story. I say story, but The Jerk is really a hodgepodge, with the protagonist moving from situation to situation, never quite gelling into a cohesive whole. I still do appreciate this as a parody of film clichés that does not resort to parodying specific films to take its targets down.
maybe it was intentional, maybe it was the character, but Steve Martin's acting in this was terrible. Bernadette Peters really carried it though. Some of the jokes fell flat but others was really funny and clever. Worth watching, not my favorite comedy but i can see why some people love it
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In 5 official lists
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This movie ranks #68 in Stanley Kubrick, Cinephile
This movie ranks #89 in AFI's 100 years...100 laughs
This movie ranks #99 in The 100 Greatest Comedies of All Time (BBC Culture)
This movie ranks #465 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
This movie ranks #656 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die