I don't think I'm embellishing when I say that The Jerk easily ranks amongst the 100 funniest films of all time. Before he became a wholesome house-name Steve Martin's brand of comedy was sporadic, random and outrageous. The Jerk was his first starring role, which he also co-wrote. It tells the story of a simple white man living as a poor black boy. His whole life he has never fit in and it isn't until he's a grown man that he realises he isn't white (and he has no sense of rhythm). And so he ventures out into the real world where he leaps from one situation to another... women, carnies and assassins are all part of his story from rags to riches. Its a brilliant comedy laced with intricate gags and plotted with big ones. I have fond memories of watching The Jerk with friends as teenagers and laughing ourselves stupid. It's a one of a kind film from Carl Reiner, showcasing Steve Martin at his best.
[que ominous music] and then there's The Jerk Too. There isn't a lot committed to the internet about this movie but it's doesn't take a brianiac to know what happened. Seeing potential for a tv series the studio ordered a telemovie which acted as a pilot episode for The Jerk: The Series. Thankfully it never made it past this initial train wreck... it was re-edited and packaged as a sequel on video. It doesn't continue Navin's story but rather re-tells it in some kind of fucked up family-friendly universe. There are a few amusing moments which might have you laughing quietly (but hardly worth the energy of creating noise) but its as you would expect. Crap. There is no substitute for Steve Martin and the studio obviously missed the point of the original movie and why it worked. The Jerk Too isn't worth buying independently but it's available in a double back with the first movie.