Saturday, March 17, 2007

Revisit: The Nutty Professor

A Paramount Pictures release 1963

Directed by Jerry Lewis

Written by Jerry Lewis & Bill Richmond

To improve his social life, a nerdish professor (Jerry Lewis) drinks a potion that temporarily turns him into the handsome, but obnoxious, Buddy Love (Lewis again).

That 'don't reveal the middle!' trailer is a spoof of Hitchcock's Psycho trailer, where audiences were told not too miss the beginning.

The Nutty Professor is easily the best movie of Lewis's solo career.
Cartoonish and full of color, there's something about the humor of this film that simply wouldn't translate in a modern comedy. It's silly and outlandish, but also sincere, and surprisingly serious about being funny. Modern comedies aren't able to have that sort of tone without feeling sarcastic or mean-spirited. Simply stack this film against its 1996 Eddie Murphy countertpart and you'll see what I mean; the original is not only funnier, but friendlier to both its audience and its characters. They simply don't make them like this anymore.

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