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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 37.84%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 5.41%
Total Crap: 2.7%

1 review, 31 user ratings

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Jerk, The
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by Thom

"When Martin Was King"
4 stars

Okay, talented and industry veteran Martin is still on top of his game but he's mellowed out quite a bit since his frenetic days as an SNL regular catering to the pot-smoking sexual revolutionaries need for puerile entertainment. The Jerk was the comedy movie of the decade and fathered a whole school of dim-witted genius.

The movie, and the era, began with the line "I was born a poor black child". The irony being that Navin, played by Martin, is as white as you can get in the heart of the soulful and poor black south.

His early childhood conflicts were finding rhythm and having to deal with the not obvious to him fact that he was adopted.

When Navin realizes that he is not who he thought he was, he goes out into the world to find himself and along the way finds his fortune.

The formula of the naif lost in the wicked world is given full comedic play in The Jerk. Martin is joined by an extra talented cast, including Bernadette Peters in this landmark film.

The modern comic actors owe a great debt to stylistic pioneers like Martin who set the tone for the limits of what an audience would want. Jim Carrey pushed the envelope that Martin sealed even further and the innuendo laden physical humor and sagacity posing as idiocy is bringing 'em home still.

The Jerk is a surprisingly sophisticated movie with an intelligent sensibility underneath the foppery. The Jerk is the classic Shakespearean fool. Wise in his innocence, outside the boundaries of society, able to break the rules to teach without consequence. The voice that dare not speak is given free rein in the mouth of the village idiot.

The Jerk is a milestone in movie and social history and is still relevant today. Martin uses Navin to illustrate innocence and sexuality, ignorance and experience in a way that seems prurient but at its heart is touching and instructive.

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originally posted: 12/11/99 06:57:48
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User Comments

3/25/15 stanley welles willfully stupid yet utterly hilarious 4 stars
12/24/13 D.B. 1986 Great classic comedy movie! Steve Martin at his best. 5 stars
10/21/13 David Classic comedy movie! 5 stars
3/04/12 The Big D Get away from the cans, Navin! 4 stars
8/06/11 tomA The Jerk is THE BEST 5 stars
5/09/10 David A. Steve Martin's brilliantly stupid / stupidly brilliant comedy at its best! 4 stars
10/21/08 Shaun Wallner Thought this was a good film. 4 stars
7/31/07 duke Almost as many great lines as Caddyshack - Love It! 5 stars
6/14/06 Monday Morning Adam Sandler sucks, Steve Martin trucks. 5 stars
7/23/05 Kankasaur Cool jerk. 5 stars
5/03/05 dwarzel Total classic. The new phone book's here! 5 stars
6/18/03 Andrew Callaway Hilarious. Carl Reiner and Steve Martin make a perfect comic combination. 5 stars
5/05/03 Bill Awesome, one of the greatest movies of Steve Martin's career. 5 stars
4/13/03 John Aster Habig It's Steve Martin need I say more 5 stars
3/08/03 Jack Sommersby Clunky and badly edited comedy redeemed by priceless gags and a stellar Martin. 4 stars
2/19/03 Joe Not funny for everyone. Just a true classic. 5 stars
2/11/03 Francis Jackson Should be re-released in theaters so a new generation can experience. 4 stars
11/23/02 Charles Tatum I agree with Mad Max 5 stars
3/17/02 Mad Max fuck Adam Sandler, etc. Steve Martin is the real deal! 5 stars
1/17/02 R.W. Welch Probably the best Martin comedy, delightfully goofy. 4 stars
10/25/01 Bill Gains Funny, especially when you consider when it was made 5 stars
9/29/01 Palaboy it was hilarious... but the pacing isnt all that great 5 stars
8/07/01 Mr. Hat (formerly Joe Zappa) Hands-down one of the funniest,most enjoyable movies ever. Steve Martin is a comic genius!! 5 stars
4/02/01 Andrew Carden This is only for die-hard fans of Steve Martin. 2 stars
3/05/01 Jillian Nelson The Jerk mad me pee my pants 5 stars
11/30/00 Zipperneck Damn funny and, sadly, damn under appreciated 4 stars
10/18/00 Jason K. off the hiz-nook, yo 5 stars
10/12/00 Daniel Etigson Crap 1 stars
7/22/00 Monday Morning One of the top comedies ever, along with "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid" 5 stars
12/01/99 Trip Quite possibly the greatest comedy of our time. There are not words to describe its beauty 5 stars
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  14-Dec-1979 (R)
  DVD: 26-Jul-2005



Directed by
  Carl Reiner

Written by
  Steve Martin
  Carl Gottlieb

  Steve Martin
  Bernadette Peters
  Mabel King
  Bill Macy
  M. Emmet Walsh
  Carl Reiner

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