Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Steve Martin month: The Jerk Era

3 of Steve's earliest films jumped to the screen like stuff straight out of his standup.   His first film  The Jerk from 1979  is one of his best....  10 out of 10  and a pure classic in my book.   

Listed in IMDB as  a movie about " A complete imbecile struggles to make it through life on his own, until a strange invention makes him unbelievably wealthy."   Steve takes us on a journey as naive Nathan R Johnson as he goes from being born a poor black child (doesn't realize he is adopted --joins a traveling circus and eventually invents the opti-grab that makes with super wealthy.   Every scene is filled with perfectly fun dumb humor.   Absuridist and yet simple the story is a delight and Steve is perfect in this role.   I could qoute it all day... one classic line while he is working as a weight guesser at the carnival is  "For one dollar I'll guess your weight, your height, or your sex. "  Or while trying to remember the tips his family gave him before leaving home "Lord loves a workin' man; don't trust whitey; see a doctor and get rid of it."    and one of my favorite scenes from the movie...

 "I know we've only known each other four weeks and three days, but to me it seems like nine weeks and five days. The first day seemed like a week and the second day seemed like five days. And the third day seemed like a week again and the fourth day seemed like eight days. And the fifth day you went to see your mother and that seemed just like a day, and then you came back and later on the sixth day, in the evening, when we saw each other, that started seeming like two days, so in the evening it seemed like two days spilling over into the next day and that started seeming like four days, so at the end of the sixth day on into the seventh day, it seemed like a total of five days. And the sixth day seemed like a week and a half. I have it written down, but I can show it to you tomorrow if you want to see it. "   I love this movie so much that I remember being upset when watching the TV version becauseI missed the scenes that were cut and then being upset when I first got it on tape because there were scenes on the TV that replaced the other scenes that weren't in that version.   Even the cut scenes from  The Jerk are classic.

In the Man with Two Brains-  1983    9 out of 10   --Steve falls in love with a brain in a jar. Enough said.

Steve is a brain surgeon that happens to come across a wonderful brain that he decides to transplant into his bitchy wife.  This is an underrated Steve Martin film that has Steve in Jerk mood.  Funny and bizarre a great early Steve Martin film.  Who doesn't want to see Steve Martin rowing a boat with a brain in a jar.

In  1984's  The Lonely Guy   9 out of 10   co-starring in an excellent performance Charles Grodin.   Steve is well......A lonely guy.   It is bascially a Lonely Guy's handbook or guide to try and not be a lonely guy anymore.  It includes great scenes and jokes about his friend having cardboard cut-outs of celebs so when he throws a party and no one shows he feels less lonely.  Another great scene has Steve going out to eat alone in a restaurant where he eating alone is highlighted to his dismay. 

Here is the Restaurant scene is classic
 Good stuff and a film many Steve Martin fans may have not seen.  Check out the Lonely Guy is you can find it.  Here is the trailer for the movie

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