on Mon, Sep 26, 2016 at 9:00 AM
Jerry Lewis makes his first film appearance in more than 20 years, and it’s a dull affair. He plays the title character, a man who recently lost his wife, Eva (Claire Bloom) and makes a discovery while rummaging through some drawers. It turns out the wife was carrying around a compact with a message from some dude scrawled in it, a message that implies she may’ve had a lover.
The film (written and directed by Daniel Noah) doesn’t really know what it wants to be; funny, sad or super dark. Max acts like a major jerk for most of the movie, making him a hard character to get behind.
It doesn’t help that Lewis has never been a very good dramatic actor, save for sort of playing himself in King of Comedy. So when he’s required to emote or get agitated for the part, he goes way, way over the top.
The mystery of the wife affair leads up to a final confrontation that is almost interesting (Dean Stockwell is amusing in his scene), but then the film goes for a strange, emotional ending that it hasn’t earned and seals it’s fate as being super weak.
This one sat on the shelf for three years, and it probably should’ve stayed there. While it’s quite bad, it’s not nearly as bad as Slapstick of Another Kind. I’m quite sure that will always be Jerry Lewis’ worst movie, even if he does someday release The Day the Clown Cried.