Wednesday, September 7, 2016

1961 - THE LADIES MAN, another so called Jerry Lewis comedy.

Jerry Lewis goes with his brand of slapstick comedy and pathos once again.  Paramount had made so much money with him he was able to move into direction, a true auteur.  The problem with Lewis is that a lot of his humor is not particularly funny.  The Ladies Man plays to a lot of his faults and weaknesses.

There are generally funny bits but you also have a lot of misfires.  Lewis has a tendency to mug his way throughout the film.  It's like he seems to think that if he makes a lot of funny faces the humor will just flow out of him.  He gets involved in a dance routine, his very clumsy and sloppy dancing is supposed to be hilarious.  Instead it comes off as having the class clown run around the room making everyone feel uncomfortable.

That said, at times he does get some generally surrealistic moments in his film.  Paramount built a huge set that apparently covered two sound stages.  This set allowed Lewis to move the actors around in interesting ways.  It's somewhat of a precursor to what Tati did in Playtime, with his massive sets.

The Ladies Man does require a very high tolerance for the Jerry Lewis brand of humor.  If your not into his infantile behavior steer clear of this film.

106 minutes.

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