Social Icons

The Jerk (1979)

Please Leave A Comment Below

The Jerk (1979)


Steve Martin

Directed by Carl Reiner

Three times I have tried to watch The Jerk (1979) and three times I couldn’t get pass his hitchhiking from his home, which he was struggling with going farther than his fence.

The movie didn’t have a good start, and if not for my resolution to see just 20 minutes in before I make my decision to delete. 20 minutes in and I was hooked. The Jerk is Steve Martin’s first feature film after a long success as a standup comedian. It will make you laugh at the extent to which this movie can be silly, and yet the movie held its character in high acclaim.

Here is what I mean, Navin in this movie is the dumb and dumber of other movies, where the character is oblivious of what is happening around him and is too dumb to notice. Here Navin’s character started as dumb and oblivious, but as he gets out there into the world we see him become smarter a little in his actions. Navin went after the things he wanted and tried to balance things in his life, and yet still remain dumb.

That to me is what makes this movie a classic, in other movies they go full dumb and oblivious, here we see something different and it is amazing that we still have movies which have failed to learn from what Martin did in this.

The movie was written by Martin with the hope of being his intro into Hollywood. Other than the difficulty he had getting this movie done, I can imagine Martin didn’t expect his career in Hollywood to extend to such, which people will remember him more for his movies than his standups.

The movie starts with Navin telling the camera about how he became a homeless bum. Navin was an adopted white kid living with an African American family and not having a clue that he is a white man among black folks.

After hearing an Orchestra song on the radio, which got him moving, he decided to hitchhike to St. Louis, going after the music. Navin’s life started immediately he got a ride that took him beyond his home fence. From meeting a dog, getting his first job, running away with the circus, getting a girlfriend, falling in love (in that order), becoming a millionaire then lose it all to end up a bum.
It was a wild ride.

The movie is more than just interesting it was a huge financial success in the box office, raking in over $73 million from a $4 million budget. And it was a critical acclaim movie and you will find The Jerk in AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Laughs at number 89. If you haven’t seen The Jerk, you should.


Post a Comment