The Jerk


The ashtray and the paddle game and the remote control, that's all I need... and these matches...the ashtray and these matches and the remote control and the paddle-ball... and this lamp.

From The Jerk, 1979

The Jerk surrounds itself in unfortunate proceedings happening to the outcast throw out Navin Johnson (Steve Martin). Even so he is a generous and steadfast man. Navin is born in Mississippi and is adopted into an African-American family, but has no idea of his origins. When he turns eighteen, he decides to take the long road by himself. Navin eventually gets employed by Harry Hartounian (Jackie Mason) at a service station and takes advantage of Navin's work ethic and a disturbed murderer tries to kill him.

Eventually, Navin gets a job at a carnival where he meets his wife to be Marie (Bernadette Peters). There a salesman passing through Navin's old service station turns one of Navin's inventions into a best-seller product. This makes Navin a multimillionaire.

Some of the scenes from The Jerk, such as when Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters are in bed when Martin says "It feels like I've known you forever” can make “The Jerk” worth any viewer's time. It's also hilarious when Navin gets "published" in the phonebook only to have a killer by chance select him for demise. The rest of the movie you will have to see for yourself to enjoy its comical content.

None the less with a number of superb scenes, The Jerk is well-written and very comical making viewers laugh until they drop.....literally! Steve Martin is brilliant in his depiction of the innocent and inexperienced Navin Johnson. The character's endless hopefulness and mission to please make him instantaneously likeable character film viewers want to cheer for. The Jerk is well-deserving of its title as a must-see film. By the way, I love the name of his dog. He needs plenty of dog supplies. Good stuff!

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