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Teen Movie Critic - II

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Review of the day for the week of July 27, 1998.

Monday:
The Jerk

The Jerk
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Steve Martin's failed attempt at a serious role in The Spanish Prisoner makes his older movies, like The Jerk all the funnier. Martin is not an actor that you want to see in a deadly serious mood - it's light and funny, or Martin shouldn't bother doing it at all.

In The Jerk Martin plays Navin R. Johnson, a young white man who, on his twentieth birthday, finds out from his black parents that he isn't really their child (he was left on their doorstep as a baby). Right then and there you get an accurate reading on his I.Q.

That night, Navin decides to go out in the world and "make something of himself". He gets a job at a gas station, and even gets his name in the phone book. This leads to a deranged killer randomly picking Navin as a target. Navin is just stupid enough to narrowly escape with his life, and soon joins up with the circus where he meets a woman named Marie (Bernadette Peters ) and falls hopelessly in love. But he already has a tough biker girlfriend, and this leads to problems.

The Jerk, which was co-written by Martin, really tickles your funny bone. Navin's terrific successes and failures are terribly amusing in their outlandishness. Perhaps the next time Martin considers another serious role he ought to reconsider how he got so famous in the first place - with movies like this.

My Rating = Three Stars


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