With the help of a talking freeway billboard, a wacky weatherman tries to win the heart of an English newspaper reporter, who is struggling to make sense of the strange world of early 1990s Los Angeles.
Richard E. Grant
Navin is an idiot. He grew up in Mississippi as adopted son of a black family but on his 18th birthday he feels he wants to discover the rest of the world and sets out to St. Louis. There everyone exploits his naivety, but then a simple invention brings him a fortune.Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
In the beginning of the movie, Navin is at the dinner table with his family and he bursts into tears. The director intentionally did not tell the actors who played his younger siblings about the scene. The astonished expression on their faces is genuine, since they did not know what was happening. See more »
When Navin is talking to the credit card thieves, you see some small bills ($1 bills) on the bottom of the pile closest to the driver and larger bills closest to Navin, but when the angle switches to over Navin's you see the bills closest to Navin are now large bills ($20s, $10s). See more »
Navin R. Johnson:
Huh? I am *not* a bum. I'm a jerk. I once had wealth, power, and the love of a beautiful woman. Now I only have two things: my friends, and... uh... my thermos. Huh? My story? Okay. It was never easy for me. I was born a poor black child. I remember the days, sittin' on the porch with my family, singin' and dancin' down in Mississippi...
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Pig Eye Jackson - Cat Juggler (Steve Martin) See more »
A version of "The Jerk" shown on cable's Turner Network Television contained alternate footage. Besides changing the name of Navin's dog to "Stupid" rather than the traditional "Shithead," genuine alternate footage was contained. In one previously-unseen scene, Navin is so broken-up over the loss of Marie that he "just had to spin." The carnies remove him from the ride by force, and he tries to explain to them what emotions are. The "charity" montage is also rather different. Before the cat juggling sequence Navin meets a professor-type who insults him and shows him some apparently unpleasant pictures, and a Texan millionare who cries over small cracks on the seat of his airplane. Navin pays both, of course. In this version there is no "Iron Balls McGinty" sequence. See more »
A very popular movie in its day, watching it a couple of years ago wasn't the same. Oh, it was still funny but just not the "hilarious" movie I always remembered it as. Maybe its reputation and memory exceeded its value, or maybe it's funnier when you are younger.
Whatever, there is still a lot of good laughs in year, subtle and slapstick variety. Now I laugh more at the subtle things. Almost all the characters in here, beginning with Steve Martin's "Navin R. Johnson," are wacky. Bernadette Peters, by the way, never looked prettier. This was in the earlier days of the ratings system and that PG rating would be at least PG-13 today. It still fun to see it after a long absence. Martin was on a roll back in those days, "a wild and crazy guy," and it's good that he's still entertaining us -- years later, although in a more subtle way. Hey, he's getting older, too.
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