Monday, 29 May 2017

The Ladies Man (1961)

Jerry som pigernes ven
When it comes to modern comedians I have serious issues with Jim Carrey. His style of extreme over-acting is for me not funny at all. However Mr. Carrey is easily topped by Jerry Lewis. Lewis and Carrey does the same sort of comedy. They are totally over the top on everything: acting, expressions, dialogue and insincerity. The main difference is that Jerry Lewis is worse.

Then image 90 minutes of Jerry Lewis goofing around.

If you are think “okay, that sounds pretty bad” you are spot on.

There is no real point to the story. Lewis is Herbert H. Herbert who got burned by his girlfriend and now abhors women, which is why he takes a job as janitor in a boarding house for young women and that is pretty much it. This could be the setup for a lot of fun, Imagine Jason Biggs as Herbert and I am already smiling, but with Lewis everything, and I really mean everything, is second to his so-called gags. He trashes everything he lays his hands on, screams “Maaaa!!” every time the girls wink at him and babbles away. Each “gag” disconnected from the previous or the next one.

By the end of the movie I realized I had laughed twice during the entire movie. The first time was the hat scene where a tough gangster type looks absolutely miserable with his hat a sorry mess on his head. It is funny, but not because of Jerry Lewis. The second time was when Lewis got stuck in the landlady’s wrist-flower during a tv interview. Again it was not Lewis that was funny, but Helen Traubel, trying to keep a straight face.

I imagine that back in 1961 this house of girls was a naughty place full of temptation, but I suppose time has not been kind on it. They are sweet enough, but they are all too prude and, yeah, sweet, to be interesting or funny. The closest thing is the vamp behind the door Herbert is not supposed to open. There was a scene with potential, but it is not played to half its potential and the girl ends up looking… silly.

Comedy must fit into the context or it is not funny. Even a crazy movie like “Airplane!” keeps that rule. It also works best when it is held up against something serious or real. If fumbling has no consequences and dialogue is inconsequential the comedy loses its edge. “The Ladies Man” break practically all those rules.

I would not go so far as to say I hated the movie, it is not a movie that generated much anger. Only resentment that I had to waste 90 minutes of my life with this miserable excuse for a comedy. I know there is more Jerry Lewis on the way for me and I cannot say I am looking forward.

Okay, that is not a very long review, but honestly, I have no more to say about it.




  1. I think I hate Jerry Lewis more than you do, if possible. I am seriously considering giving this a miss. My dedication to the List has its limits.

    1. That would be a wise choice. You would not be missing anything. I would far prefer the clumsy B-horror movies you are watching.

    2. Far be it from me to tell someone else what to do, but there are far worse movies on the List that you can skip. This one is pretty innocuous, and at the very least the set design is really interesting.

      Lewis's problem is that he never knew when to stop, so a lot of this goes on too long. But seriously, there are things that will scar you far more than this little nothing.

    3. I agree there are truly horrible stuff on the list, but somehow actors like Jerry Lewis brings up the worst in me. I find his sort of goofing around highly annoying. It is supposesd to be funny, but it is not.

  2. I'll watch a movie I know will be bad but might be amusing over one I know I will hate any day of the week. Wait for tomorrow's review. It's in the running for my favorite bad movie EVER!

    1. This should be good. I will check it out.